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Fidelia 08-08-2009 07:16 PM

New to Poly and needing help
I need some help, and there’s no one I can talk to. I’m hoping someone here has some insight to help me deal with this.

The Backstory:
I’m in a long-term, stable, very happy monogamous marriage, 17 years together, 15 married. A couple of months ago, I fantasized out loud with my hubby about adding this friend or that friend to our relationship. I was just fantasizing, letting my imagination really take a walk on the wild side, but my beloved jumped all over the idea and was immediately ready to go poly for real. Right then. As in, “Let me make a few phone calls.“ YIKES! In fact, he told me he’d been patiently waiting all this time, hoping I’d want to open our marriage some day but recognizing it probably would never happen.

Yowie . . . I had no idea. I had never given the idea any thought, much less serious consideration. I certainly never knew this was something my beloved wanted. But now I know. And he’s clearly very, very serious. So I started thinking about it.

After much soul-searching, research and examination of my own feelings, my honest assessment was and is that opening our hearts and lives to additional lovers is scary and risky. I’m primarily scared of damaging or destroying the good thing we’ve got going between us, but the other risks are there too (the potential for damaging valued friendships, the social pressure, family issues, plus health risks I thought I’d never have to consider again, etc.). But more than I was afraid of any of these potential problems, I earnestly desired that my beloved have the desire of his heart. And there is a lot to like about poly, as I‘m sure everyone on this forum is aware. So I agreed to try polyamory.

The first person we decided to invite into a new relationship with us was my bff of many years, whom I’ll call Star. I felt uncomfortably shy starting the discussion, so my husband spoke with her, and he told me she’d agreed to try it out.

The Incident:

(I’m going to *try* and just report the facts, with as little of my own commentary and opinions as possible.)

Star came to visit us for a few days, which she’s done many times before. (She lives a couple of hours away from us.) On the first night of her visit, she and I were sitting in the living room visiting when Hubby came and invited the two of us to join him in the bedroom.

I took him up on his invitation, went into the bedroom and waited for them. And waited . . . And waited . . . and waited. Forty-five very long minutes later, feeling very confused, I went to see what was up, and saw the two of them leaving the guest room together. I immediately felt extremely hurt, confused and abandoned. I confronted them, accusing them (mostly him) of ditching me, having asked me to join him/them in the bedroom and then not showing up. A great deal of yelling ensued. There was “much wailing and gnashing of teeth” by all parties. It was pretty ugly.

When things calmed down some and we could talk more rationally about the situation, it boils down to this: the two of them had gotten caught up in the heat of the moment and simply forgot that I was waiting for them. I’m glad they felt they could be honest with me, because God knows I’d rather deal with a bitter truth than sweet-tasting lie, but it doesn’t ease my pain at all to know that the two people I love most in the world could so quickly and easily forget me. And that when the moment came to turn toward me or away, they both chose to turn away.

They’re both sorry and say it will never happen again, and I truly believe they mean it. My husband in particular has said a thousand times how much he loves me, that I’m the most important person in the world to him, and that no one could ever take my place in his life. And I want to get past this. I believe in the healing power of forgiveness and I want to believe them. But the very first time the opportunity arose, they forgot me. What they say and what they did do not agree.

I really don’t know what to do now. I feel like a stranger in a strange land. Polyamory can be wonderful in theory, with so many opportunities to give and receive love openly and honestly, and grow as a person, but my practical experience of it is that it sucks. I wish now I’d kept my fantasies to myself, or at least said HELL NO! to my husband when we discussed it.

And the worst of all is that there isn’t anyone I can talk to about it. They’re my two best friends! The two people who hurt me are the two people I confide in! I feel like I’m stuck in a hole and can’t get out.

I hope someone here has some words of wisdom for me. I really need them, and I would so appreciate the help.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

vandalin 08-08-2009 08:21 PM

Greetings and welcome.

Talk to him and tell him how you are feeling. And then slow the train down! It sounds like you went a bit faster then you were ready for. If boundaries were set and not stuck with, then there are things that really do need to be discussed. Openness and trust are very important and what happened to you decreases both of those immensly.

I'm sure others will have better or at least more in depth advice/words of wisdom, but I wish you luck in finding what you are looking for.

Fidelia 08-09-2009 12:55 AM


Originally Posted by vandalin (Post 4519)
Greetings and welcome.

Talk to him and tell him how you are feeling. And then slow the train down! It sounds like you went a bit faster then you were ready for. If boundaries were set and not stuck with, then there are things that really do need to be discussed. Openness and trust are very important and what happened to you decreases both of those immensly.

I'm sure others will have better or at least more in depth advice/words of wisdom, but I wish you luck in finding what you are looking for.

Thank you for your kind words, Vandalin. I sincerely appreciate your response, and I wish the same for you and Cajun, whatever Elric decides. We have talked, and talked, and talked some more. We're at the point now where there isn't much left to say. He knows I'm hurting. He understands, I think, the depth of my sorrow even though it's hard for him to look at. He's hurting to know that I'm hurting. Star's hurting over it, too. Everyone wishes the situation was different. We've each owned our parts of what happened, and they've said they can't believe thier actions. I couldn't ask them to be any sorrier than they already are. It just still really hurts, and I haven't yet been able to move past it. And that's not like me.

It never occurred to me for one moment that I would need to establish boundaries to protect my heart from them. Either of them.

aussielover 08-09-2009 01:20 AM

Hi, welcome. I'm sorry I don't have any words of advice, but I wanted to give you a hug *HUGS* I'm really sorry that happened to you. I'm not sure I understand how they could have forgotten about you when the whole point was for you to all be together. :(

Fidelia 08-09-2009 01:42 AM

*hugs back* Thanks, Aussielover. I don't understand it either and neither do Hubby or Star. That's part of the problem too.

And you know . . . I think maybe that's part of why I'm having such a hard time moving past this. How can we know for sure something like this will never happen again when we don't know why it happened in the first place?

Quath 08-09-2009 03:37 AM

Sorry this happened to you, Fidelia. It sounds like you all are trying to handle it well. It is very hard when it is new and there is little social context to go on. We are brought up in a world where the rules of monogamy are pretty much understood by most people. But polyamory is a learn as you go process.

It is good that your husband was honest with you about what he felt. It may be easier to liken it to something not so emotional. For example, my wife asked me to join her by the pool. I told her that I would be down ina minute since I was watching some funny videos on the web. Next thing I know, she is back in the house in her regular clothes. So I asked her when she was going to get her bathing suit on so I could join her outside. It turns out that I had been goofing off for about half an hour and she had finished swimming.

Sometimes we lose track of time. It doesn't mean that the other person is unimportant. It probably means that something new was happening that was overloading the normal thinking process. I think there are lessons for everyone in this. They need to realize how easy it is to loose track of time and need to keep you in mind. You should let them know that you are waiting for them before it becomes an annoyance to you.

A lot of getting polyamory to work is to keep all communication open. Tell Star when you are feeling jealous and encourage her to do the same. Let your husband know he can tell you if he is feeling jealous. of you and Star. Communicate your desires but always be open to negotiations and don't see any rule was a "forever" rule.

If it happens again, just go out there before you get annoyed and join them where they are. Or suggest you are waiting.

i wish you well.

XYZ123 08-09-2009 05:58 PM

Hi and welcome. I don't have any great advice for you on this one but I can understand how it would cause so much pain. I do agree with vandalin that maybe you pushed yourself too fast into this lifestyle without important ground rules. What your husband and Star did was, IMO, just plain wrong and inconsiderate. Talk and talk and talk some more, with both of them, and as a group, and work past this if you can. In the meanwhile, put off any poly bedroom activities until you're more secure on this. Asking someone to open a marriage is a big deal and the person doing the asking needs to be open to working at the partner's pace. Hopefully, your husband will understand this, the way in which his actions led to your feelings, and be willing to slow down.

Mark1npt 08-09-2009 07:37 PM

Let me start off by saying, I'm sorry you had to experience this scene with your two best friends. I understand your wanting to open up or experiment in your marriage. I have some issues with how it was handled and if you don't mind would like to play devil's advocate from the male point of view.

Your husband's quick, enthusiastic response makes me wonder, if he has in the past, always been faithful, if not physically then atleast emotionally with you. I'm sorry, but he seems wayyyyyy tooooo comfortable or familiar with the emotions of it all. It also makes me wonder how familiar your friend Star has been, too. Obviously, there were communication issues for them to forget you in the bedroom. I still don't see how that could have happened. You took it way better than I would have. It sounds like maybe subliminally they didn't want a threesome, but only to be together themselves. Have they been denying this to themselves for years? The sexual tension may have been overwhelming and all consuming, but I just never, ever in a million years would have forgotten my wife. Something is too weird here for my liking.

There's one thing to be poly and one thing to swing. Which is it you want, which does your husband want? Emotions come with poly.......it's a beast to tame. Swinging is just the opposite, a few sweaty hours, then everyone goes their own way til next meeting. No strings, no feelings, no jealousy, nada.

I hope this reply doesn't upset you but gives you another point of reference from which to address your situation with your two best friends. Good luck.

Fidelia 08-09-2009 09:10 PM

Many thanks and much love
Thank you all for your help, support and wisdom through this very tough period. I sincerely appreciate each of you taking the time to help me. Really.

Fidelia 08-09-2009 09:27 PM


Originally Posted by Quath (Post 4527)

Sometimes we lose track of time. It doesn't mean that the other person is unimportant.

That's the thing. For that moment in time, I was of so little importance to each of them that I fell off both their radar screens for most of an hour. And it just happened to be a moment when I was completely open and completely vulnerable, and without any frame of reference as to what "should" be happening.

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