New here-need advice re: open marriage...
Totally new here on this board.
My wife and I (married 17 years, together 20 years; 3 kids) have recently decided we want to be in an open relationship. She shared this with me a couple of months ago, which I find very exciting. I am Bi, and she is straight. We have a good sex life (lately it's been fantastic)...but at many times in the past, it has been lackluster (kids, busy work schedules, etc.). Well, after talking about this, we talked about some ground rules vaguely, and decided to start exploring some options for us.
I was going to look into finding a guy on a local "alternative" sex personals site who would be into sharing himself w/ both of us.
She shared that she is very attracted to my best friend, whose wife is my wife's best friends-so, our best friends. Well...last week, my wife shared with me after talking about wanting to have sex with him, and me saying I trust her completely, that it had already happened about a week before. They had a 3-way: my wife, my best friend, and his wife. They were drunk, and somehow it just came up. I was shocked...but after the initial shock, was okay with it, even though it happened before we had really clarified ground rules. They have all stated that it was non a pre-planned thing, and his wife doesn't want it to happen again.
Well...now I'm having feelings of being left out of that scene. And now when my wife goes over to watch a movie on Sunday night at their house (a tradition for a while now-just the girls), I feel left out. The other night they decided to watch a movie (Bad Santa), that the 4 of us had talked about watching together, just us. Well...I work on Sunday nights generally, and my wife decided they were going to watch it without me. I felt left out again...and not about anything related to sex actually. I just want to be included in fun times with her and our friends. Well...now she is regretting telling me about their threesome. It ended up being just the girls watching the movie, as other people were there too.
Also-my best friend has also said he'd be open to having sex w/ my wife along with me (We're just not sure if his wife is ok with that yet though). And I'm fine w/ him having sex w/ my wife solo too.
And also-being Bi, my interest is that some of my needs get fulfilled here in the near future also.
How should we proceed? What can I do to show her it wasn't a mistake to tell me? How do I keep this situation exciting, sexy, and not drama-laden? How do I not feel left out?
I really appreciate any help/advice you can offer. Thanks!
If your wife cannot comprehend what she did wrong and how that's quite a major fuck up, then she is in no way ready for you to have a non monogamous relationship. That's the bottom line.
She isn't ready for any relationship, actually.
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I am concerned about the regrets your wife has for telling the truth. Honesty is never a valid cause for regret, and in fact without honesty a poly relationship can't be conducted (and the attempt will fall apart). These are principles that should be self-evident. You shouldn't have to prove anything to your wife. And, I feel like she is implying that if you don't start capitulating to all of her wishes without complaint, she'll stop telling you the truth. I hope that's not true but if it is, it doesn't bode well. You, too, need to be able to be honest, such as about your true feelings about things. If you feel left out, it's not your job to pretend like everything's fine.
I can appreciate just wanting things to go smoothly and not put everyone through a bunch of fuss. But fusses become hard to avoid when you're in the early stages of forming new relationships with people (or transitioning from platonic to romantic relationships). It can take a year or two or more before "forming" and "storming" give way to "norming."
Now, if you can avoid emotional entanglements and keep things very light, only getting together for fun (casual sex), then you can stave off that early relationship drama. However, as unfortunate as it may be, you are already feeling things about these new relationships, things that have little if anything to do with sex. That sounds like the beginning of a relationship to me. Unless you just cut the romantic ties with this other couple, you will need to resign yourself to the hard work that new relationships entail.
I think it'd be wise to start having sit-down conversations, probably once a week, some with just your wife and some with all four adults sitting together to talk about fears and concerns (and positive thoughts and feelings). Good communication is so vital to the success of a poly relationship, that you need to get a lot of practice at communicating. That practice is part of what the sit-downs are for. They're also for the purpose of tending to hurt feelings before they grow into resentments and then a building pressure under the pressure cooker lid. Without some outlet for those accumulated feelings, the pressure cooker will eventually explode, and that won't be good for anyone.
If you have a sit-down once a week, then I think you can put hurt (or even just nervous) feelings on hold until the next sit-down. Hearing how you feel might be easier for your wife if she knows that the "bad news" won't be raised at just any old time, but rather that she can prepare herself to hear it at the specific time that the two/four of you have agreed upon. During the sit-down, each person should have a chance to air any concerns (and encouragement) that they have, with the other person/s quietly and carefully listening. Then the couple/group can brainstorm about ways to get each person's wants and needs met.
I would also spend a good amount of time reading and studying various threads on this site. Consider encouraging one or more of the other adults to do so also. It might also be helpful if you journal your thoughts and poly experiences. We have a Life stories and blogs board designed specifically for that purpose. And, as new thoughts, questions, and concerns arise, you can post them on the Poly Relationships Corner or other board as appropriate. I myself am usually good about keeping up on the intro board, so anything you post in this thread will be heard and responded to by me for sure.
I hope you'll be able to navigate these new waters with the help of your fellow members on Polyamory.com. Polyamory requires a dedication seldom seen in other relationships, but if you hang in there, I think you'll find that it's very much worth the effort.
Kevin T., "official greeter" :)
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Vis a vis the movie, I think, if there is a film you really want to watch with your wife, you need to tell her so. I'm assuming that she didn't know that it was important to you for her to watch that movie with you?
Are you getting enough social life together as a couple? Maybe you could schedule a regular coed movie night that you could both participate in? Or join a movie group on meetup.com together?
Vis a vis the threesome, she jumped the gun before you two had figured out your rules of engagement. But it sounds like you did both agree to have an open relationship, just hadn't formally agreed to a start time. While I don't think her behavior was cheating per se, she absolutely should have checked in with you before she did anything sexual with your friends. It's good that she told you about it afterwards, and it's good that you still trust her.
This would be a good opportunity to let her know that you do not like surprises, and that transparency about each other's intentions and activities is important to you. One of your ground rules for an open relationship could be that neither of you proceeds in an unplanned sexual experience with a new partner or partners, without a quick check-in with each other.
Please don't brood over being left out of the threesome. If you are interested in group sex, I guarantee that there will be other opportunities for such, even if your best friend's wife isn't interested in a repeat experience.
You could get a meeting of your friends and your wife to talk about what happened. Make it a general airing of feelings. Try to encourage everyone to honestly say what they want/desire. It may be awkward at first, but it could open up new grounds.
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