Love the idea but struggling
Hello everyone. I am happily married, 38 years old, with three young boys and a 4th on the way. My husband and I are new to the idea of polyamory, but I absolutely love the the idea.
Our marriage has had rocky moments in the past, and after realizing that monogomy and living our lives based on how society says we should just wasn't working for us. We weren't amazing. The idea of thinking outside the box with our relationship, and our first experience with opening up our marriage has brought an amazing level of excitement to our lives. I am more sexual and attracted to my husband than ever before.
However, our current situation is one where my husband is involved with a coworker whom he began sleeping with without me knowing about it. We worked through that and now our communication is better than ever, but I am struggling with allowing the two of them to continue with their relationship. There is the hurt and lack of trust that bothers me, but it also feels so incredibly unfair because I had come to envision my husband and I pursuing poly friendships together and mutually. I feel like the intruder and the bad guy because I just don't feel right about them and have for now placed restrictions on what they are allowed to do together.
One more level of the unfairness is that I am currently 7 months pregnant and have three other children at home. I am so very excited to get out and meet like-minded poly curious people, but the timing of it is just pretty terrible being this pregnant and relying on babysitting to get out with my husband to meet others.
So I am trying to strike a balance between allowing him to get out with his girlfriend, as I see that it makes him happy, but at the same time I struggle with the feeling of unfairness, as well as jealousy of his time and attention when he is out with her. Any ideas or tips?
I look forward to finding out so much more about a poly lifestyle, especially experiences as a married couple, and having young children. Thank you for listening!
Welcome to our forum.
I wonder if you and your husband don't have different wants and visions for how this polyamorous life is going to play out. It kind of seems like he sees the two you dating different people separately, whereas you rather hoped and expected that any new people you dated, you would date together as a couple.
Does your husband even see the arrangement as a DADT situation? I'm wondering why he didn't tell you about it when he first started sleeping with this coworker of his. Did he know you wanted "couple dating" and he didn't want to admit that he wanted something else?
Honestly, couple dating is usually hard to do. What are the odds of a person falling in love with one other person, and then multiply that by the odds that a person will fall in love with two specific people at the same time (and at the same level?).
Regardless, I think you and your husband will need to sit down and figure out if your respective polyamorous preferences can be compatible with each other. Can he agree to couple dating? Can you agree to individual dating? What compromises are there, and will they work?
And then, what do you do if you find out your poly paths lead in two very divergent directions? What if there is no room for compromise? I don't like breaking up and I hope it doesn't come to that, but the big question is, Are the two of you going to be happy together, with whatever polyamorous conditions you decide to implement?
It doesn't sound like going back to monogamy would work for either of you.
My next question concerns the kids; you are caring for three and a fourth is on the way. Could be difficult, going any further than that and trying to manage the complexities of polyamory as well. Kids take up lots of time, and well, polyamory tends to take up a lot of time as well. So your time will really be at a premium. You'll need a calendar.
Okay so given all this and I know it's personal of me to go here and likely none of my business, but can I suggest that four kids will be enough for you guys's situation? Might be time for hubby to get himself fixed, you know what I mean? that or at least birth control until you have a much clearer picture of what your poly future's going to look like. Maybe you'll have enough extra poly partners to help with the extra parenting? Then of course you also have to consider that one or more of those poly partners might want kids of their own. Sometimes you just have to be practical about how much of a load the family can handle.
I assume being far-along pregnant makes it tough to pursue any dates of your own. Which probably adds to your sense of unfairness that your husband is so free to pursue his other gal.
When this next child is born, things won't get much easier. I know you know all too well how much work it is to take care of a newborn. I expect your husband to step up to the plate and help out with that job, it's pretty much a necessity.
I think it must be hard to get a babysitter for a newborn, so I feel like you're going to have to put some of your poly plans on hold for a few years. Will you be able to tolerate your husband continuing his new relationship during that time? I can't imagine that being an easy decision to make.
The best you can do on our site is engage in a lot of reading, and post your thoughts, questions, and concerns as they arise. I think the Life stories and blogs board might be especially helpful to you: real stories of real people figuring out how to make poly work. I'm certain lots of those stories will feature married couples with young children.
I sincerely send you my best wishes, and hope the bumps in the road get smoother.
That does sound tough.
Am I right in thinking that your husband has been having an affair while you are 7 months pregnant and have 3 other children to look after? And now he wants to carry on seeing the other woman and you and he both want to be okay with that?
Four children is a lot to look after. How much does your husband help you?
I have a family member with 4 young children and she and her partner do manage to have a life outside of the family. They aren't poly but they do have friends and interests outside of each other. They work hard at it. Keep a big calendar and are both active parents. They both have weekends and holidays without each other while the other does all the parenting.
Is this something that your husband is willing to do?
The baby will be here in a few months, is hub going to be home with you more than he is now? Does girlfriend understand his priority should be his children first? Does he even understand that?
This is hard to accept but for our family, no matter how much we want some one else, to do something else, the priority will remain first on our children. Our kids did not vote to be born, we made that choice for them. Even with a parent there, they can still be absent in the time they spend on-line and texting. The family should be the priority (imo) then your relationships with each other and others.
Is it possible to put poly on the back burner for you two right now? He probably won't agree with it as he is most likely experiencing NRE but the start of this relationship with girlfriend essentially began as cheating and not ethically. That would be hard for me to accept. Are you choosing poly because he wants it or do you really want to love more than him? Can you visualize yourself loving others separately from him? If not, you most likely will need to take a step back and assess what your want and what you need.
The biggest part of being poly successful is communication. If he isn't willing to communicate and vice versa, this will fail. Good luck and read, read, and ask as many questions as you feel you need to.
So many things to consider
Thank you all for your replies and honest thoughts regarding my situation. There are just so many things that run through my head every day about how to proceed. My husband (DH) and I communicate so very much and powerfully with each other and he for the most part is very understanding about my hesitation and current restrictions placed on him and J (his girlfriend) when they go out.
After thinking much about my vision of poly vs. what we are experiencing right now, I do wonder what is behind my hesitation. Is it just the baggage associated with DH and J, in other words the betrayal that I feel after being lied to about them sleeping together? Or is it that I really do want to be more involved in the relationships that he is involved in? And I don't necessarily mean in just a sexual way, but I just feel that whatever woman that he is involved with should at the very least be respectful and care about me, and if possible even good friends. I would love for that person to be a confidant with me as well. Is that too much to ask of every or any poly relationship that he has?
The reason that I feel this could be a very big part of my hesitation is that before I knew that DH was having sex with J, him and I began to talk about opening up our marriage to others and it turns out that both I and she agreed to having three-way sex with DH. So for about a month, the three of us got together a few times and it was really much fun, and there was great communication amongst all of us, including just her and I. I felt like she could be, and already was, becoming a good friend whom I could talk to about anything. Then I found out from her husband that DH and J had been sleeping together prior to me and DH even agreeing on opening up the marriage. I was devastated to say the least.
So, is it that I just can't put the betrayal behind me and the negativity associated with the two of them together? Or that their current relationship does not involve me at all, or even provide me with a friend, as she wants to now keep her and I on separate sides of the fence? Or maybe a combination of the two?
I have mentioned these possibilities to DH and he agrees that any of them may be the case. And I have suggested that to truly know, him and I should move forward in exploring new poly relationships with new people and see how things go, especially see how I react if he finds another woman who may not want to be friends with me. I also do look forward to me being able to get out and meet other men to potentially include in my life as well.
So I am not looking for a unicorn, I simply want a good relationship with whomever else DH finds to love. Is that a realistic expectation? And what should I do about DH and J's relationship in the meantime? Is it fair to say that they hold off on their relationship (just be friends) until him and I are really able to get out together to explore other poly relationships? This realistically would happen after our baby is born and things settle down a bit after that.
I hope this all makes sense and someone out there has some more helpful input. Again, the comments already made here have been amazing, I truly appreciate them!
I'm confused about why J doesn't want to associate with you at all anymore (as a friend or even as an acquaintance). Did you and J have a falling out for some reason? It seems to me that the two of you got along well enough at one time.
You and DH are perfectly free to experiment together on the dating scene, of course. Maybe you'll find separate partners, maybe you'll find mutual partners, who knows. In most cases I think it's a good idea for everyone to be friends with everyone (even those who aren't romantically involved with one another). But I've known of situations where that just couldn't be the case.
It's bound to help if you and your husband continue to communicate often and well, and, communication is a skill that everyone can improve on at anytime; it is a lifetime endeavor.
As long as you and DH agree on what to do, then you are free to proceed. Just make sure you also show as much consideration for J's thoughts and feelings as possible.
Hope that helps,
I wrote this about people who start poly relationships after cheating recently.
Hmm, this so called poly life has gotten off to a really rocky start!
First of all, you have young children and another on the way. Practicing poly with kids in the mix is extremely complicated. Kids take a lot of time, at all ages. I sure hope you're not allowing your h to date his gf while you stay at home doing childcare. Do you and your h go on dates yourself, or does he get to go out with his gf, and you and he never have quality time kid-free?
Second, the cheating. I'd feel so sick with betrayal, knowing h and the gf fucked you together while they were both secretly fucking each other! And now that their relationship is in the open, she won't fuck you, or even hang out as a friend with you! Yuck!
How do you "limit" what your h and his gf do on their "dates?" Are you not allowing them to fuck anymore? Are you sure they aren't? He's already been capable of deception once, and so has she.
You say your communication is so great. Then, how do you explain the disgusting cheating? How do you trust him now? What the HELL was he thinking?
Now, as to the idea you want to be good friends, confidants, with your metamour(s): this may or may not happen. When your h dates, or you do, eventually, you get to choose someone YOU like. As long as his partner, or your partner, can act civil, there is no need for this partner to be good friends with their partner's partner (metamour). That is too much to ask. It can happen, and it's nice (my gf and my bf get along great, but he's the first bf of mine she's been so close with), but don't count on it.
Maybe, once you have time, YOU can find a gf who will be your lover and confidant, love your kids, help you care for them (and vice versa, if she has some kids too), hang out, drink tea, go shopping, take the kids on adventures, watch a movie at night, etc. Don't count on your dh to provide that woman for you. Go get one.
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