Need advice from some people more experienced in poly relationships.
Hello I just joined this forum looking for some advice.
My basic profile.
I am male, 41, and a professional who works from home with a solid job. I am married to a wonderful, caring, considerate woman who is the sole reason I am where I am today. We have two adopted children (2 and 7) and we live happily here in our home.
As a little history for myself.
I have had two serious relationships in my life including my current marriage. In my previous relationship my girlfriend of the time ended up becoming emotionally attached to my best friend at the time. After a number of heartfelt open discussions we all agreed we could be adults about the situation and see where things went. We formed what I think is referred to as a Triad with my GF forming the center. Bother my friend and I were straight so aside from friendship there was nothing to between he and I. This led to two of the worst years of my life. My GF was a very self centered poly. She very rarely considered the feelings of the partner and commonly excluded one or the other of us so rather than feeling like a cooperative relationship - it was like a competition. There were other stresses on the relationships as well but eventually I walked away.
Wisely or unwisely I walked straight into a new relationship with a younger woman (I was 25 and she was 19). She was Bi although nothing ever came of that. Within a year we were married and we have now been married for 15+ years. I know that we have both been very happy through our marriage.
Now at the age of 36 my wife has found herself increasingly attracted to women and less attracted to men (in general - not just me). She feels like her Bi-Sexual side is becoming more pronounced.
Our relationships solidity is built on our communication. We express our feelings and thoughts when something is bothering us so it was only natural that one night after the kids were settled she brought this issue up. She expressed the idea that she would very much "like a girlfriend" outside our marriage. Surprisingly I was not hurt or nervous about this. I thought about it a little and I agreed that would be OK as long as it didn't impact the kids or our marriage negatively, like if she ended up finding a GF who was abusive or otherwise disruptive. I didn't ask for a menage au trois and when she put it on the table I told her that if/when she found someone special enough that she wanted to bring them into our shared life that I would not be opposed but that it was in no way a condition on the situation.
After sleeping on it I initiated another conversation. I did have two things to ask. Not conditions as I would not "impose" my will in this but I would ask and hope that she would consent. Firstly I asked, because of my previous poly experience, that she limit her search to other women. I felt threatened by the thought of her with another man. Secondly, I felt like if she were allowed to go outside the marriage that to be fair, it should be both ways and if circumstances permitted so should I be allowed a partner outside the marriage. The only real issue here is that it's a bit of a double standard because I'm straight and so if I were to seek a special friend, it would be with a woman.
She agreed to both requests without hesitation.
Now, I don't have any great desire to find another relationship. I am happy with things as they are, but it felt better knowing that it went both ways.
Since then several things have come about:
So I am looking for some thoughts from a community experienced in Poly.
AM I being unreasonable in my request that she limit herself to women? My wife does not identify as Poly but strictly as Bi and says she is seeking something I cannot provide but that she wants to remain with me as her spouse. After a lot of reading our relationship is looking to become polyamorous and I am okay with that in general. The issue I see with our current arrangement is that she cannot have a relationship with a member of the opposite sex whereas I can. Is this unfair?
Should I start trying to "get over" my feelings of discomfort with the thoughts of her with another man?
We definitely need to have more conversation about this - but I want to have a better understanding of what other people who are more experienced in this sort of thing think.
Thanks for any replies.
Welcome to the forum! One of the most compelling aspects of poly-for me- is the fact that it's totally outside of the cultural "norms" most of us were raised with.....and as a result- there aren't many role models, but they can be found!
I am still a newbie (committed poly for 4 years) and the one thing I have learned is that it takes a great deal of emotional maturity (which you seem to have) and other than that it takes letting go of the need to "know how to do it" because it requires for each individual to figure things out for themselves. It demands authenticity.
The boundaries we had set in the beginning (for "protection") are melting away and we are letting a lot of them go. It's very freeing!
Me and my primary partner have allowed the lifestyle to pull us along like a river and we can see that we are growing and allowing ourselves to change organically- and we experience moments of great ecstasy! We are falling in love with one another again after knowing each other for 12 years and we are loving other people too! It's a great adventure!
Let it flow!
Oh- and also- for a bisexual woman who is looking for a female partner- it's hard to find one that doesn't come with a male counterpart unless you want to date a lesbian and there aren't many lesbians that want to date married women. So- my point is that a lot of people enter the lifestyle looking for the available bisexual women- and they end up having to deal with the male partners of those women.
And in dealing with the male partners, all sorts of things happen like falling in love and stuff like that! So- that's what poly is - allowing ourselves to feel and express love for multiple partners. And allowing our partners to feel and express love for other people too. It's awesome when you can let go!
Hi, and good luck.
Yes, a One Penis Policy is sexist. You had a bad exp. with a former gf and metamour (the other guy). That doesn't mean if your wife ends up dating a man at some point, it would cause her to treat you badly.
Secondly, her "offering" you a threesome with a hypothetical gf is talking from a place of couple privilege. "Bringing the new woman into your marriage" is a misnomer. More likely the scenario would be, does your wife end up with a steady gf? Do you like her gf (your metamour) as a friend? Does she like you as a friend? Then, is there any sexual/emotional/romantic attraction between the two of you? Is it mutual? Then, and only then, would a relationship of more than metamours happen. It has nothing to do with your wife, it would be between you and the other woman entirely.
Then, do you want one on one sex with her, or do all 3 of you want threesomes? Sometimes? Every time? Once or twice a year? Once or twice a week or month? All the stars need to be aligned.
My next opinion is on your wife's first date. How very odd that her new potential's husband AND his gf are coming along on the date weekend! What the heck? Spies? Bodyguards? Sexual stimulation for them? WHY?
a word of warning. My wife and I had the same situation. What she didn't tell me was that she was interested in the husband of her girlfriend and proceeded to hide it and have secretive relationship with him until I found out and blew up at her. I anticipate that what will happen is that this husband of your wife's gf will attempt to push for a threesome or foursome since his gf is coming along. The fact that he is coming along stinks to high heaven of something weird and disrespectful.
Firstly, thank you for your replies.
I can see how I was speaking in a way that perhaps presumed certain things. In my eyes our marriage is the primary relationship. Anyone else coming into the relationship from her or my side would be secondary and my wife feels the same way.
I knew the OPP (One Penis Policy) was sexist but I felt that, at least for now, I need this to protect myself emotionally while coming to terms with this new situation. As we progress through this situation, and she is with another female partner, I think that I will come to terms with the idea of her having alternate male partners and we can let that situation go. I think she accepted it simply because she is not interested in men in general at the moment and she feels satisfied with my role as the man in our relationship.
I fully realize the OPP is really about my own insecurities. I will work on my feelings about this as we move through this new facet of our relationship.
To be clear - I do not presume that any woman she becomes involved with will want to have relations, or even like me. I would hope that we could be friends but it is not assumed. My wife is seeking companionship of a kind I cannot provide. She was simply saying that IF I needed to be involved she would seek someone specifically open to that. I fully understand (as does my wife) that any 3rd person is a person and not simply an extra vagina. We are not looking for a Unicorn. :)
I would not care if my wife were to choose a strictly Lesbian alternate partner. I can understand how a lesbian would not be attracted to this sort of situation. Again we are not specifically looking for someone to be the third leg of a triad.
First and foremost in this - I trust my wife. If she were to say that she felt she needed to be with another man - I would go along with it and try to deal with any feelings that came up.
The fact that I am allowed the same leeway in our relationship makes this easier to swallow. I'm just not looking for anything outside our relationship atm. If something were to come up then I just want to have the same freedom.
So an update.
The wife and I had a couple conversations since yesterday. This mornings conversation was the longest and very productive. I told her that I had been feeling very awkward recently about mu OPP request. I explained I had been speaking with some other people in similar situations and reading a lot about multiple partner relationships. I told her that if she were to become interested in another man in a sexual way - I would not like to discuss it. Her reaction was that she isn't interested at all in other men (at least atm) although if Takeshi Kaneshiro (sp?) showed up on our front step it would be a conversation we would have. ;)
I simply told her that because I am allowed to pursue relations with other women (or men) outside the relationship she should have the same freedom. I simply asked that if she does become interested in another man, that we remain open in communicating about it. She agreed but stated that the likelihood of that is low. If anything she would find another woman if her weekend with her friend does not go as hoped.
We also discussed the mysterious Husband/Girlfriend tagalong. Turns out that my wife discussed that with her friend and the Husband thought that a weekend out of town sounded great. He asked to come along and because the NRE (yay I learned a new term!) is very strong of course he wanted to bring his GF. My wife said she really would like time with Friend before meeting DH/GF. Wife's friend says they might have dinner one night but that won't be until W&F have had a few hours to be comfortable together.
FYI-the only time an agreement is a problem (imo) is when it negatively impacts someone.
As an example; we don't have a OPP (that would be awkward as our V is two guys and me) BUT
I have no interest in having another male partner and I make no secret about this. The guys make no secret about the fact that this reality makes them sigh with relief; because they don't need to deal with any fears they have around that topic.
That doesn't mean that it's a sexist arrangement and it doesn't mean that there is a problem.
What it means is that I'm not dating another guy and they like that.
As you go along your merry little path-keep in mind, that your wife is also an individual (as you noted about any woman she found). If SHE isn't interested in something, that doesn't mean that YOU are forcing her disinterest just because you prefer she not do it.
You say you trust her and that is awesome.
But don't put your feelings onto her-what I mean by that is, don't presume that because you don't want her to do something, she is somehow being forced not to do it by you and
just because you want her to do something doesn't mean she is being forced TO do it by you.
My husband LOVES blow jobs and he would NOT be ok being in a relationship where they weren't available. That doesn't mean he forces me to give him blowjobs. I happen to LOVE giving them. It just means we happen to both have the corresponding enjoyment that allows me to give what he wants.
Hopefully that makes sense.
Incidentally, you don't have the power to make it so she "cannot" have a relationship with a member of the opposite sex any more than she has the power to make it so you "can." If this was something that was important to her, she'd be well within her rights to politely inform you that she's going to have a relationship with whomever the heck she wants, and you're free to take it or leave it.
It strikes me as odd that this husband needs to go on the same vacation as his wife when she's going off to meet a potential partner for the first time. As in, why don't he and his gf go to some other town? I mean sure, Gralson goes out of town for work a lot and sometimes I go on "vacation" to the middle of butt-fuck-nowhere because the trip is already paid for and it's fun to spend a weekend in a hotel. But if he was going there to meet with someone special why would I want to tag along and lurk in the shadows? I'd rather take the opportunity to go with Auto on our own special vacation. I'd be curious to see how they'd respond if your wife requested that just the woman come, without the extra baggage.
Wow - thanks SC - your response helped quite a bit.
My wife made it clear that she is not interested in a group sex hookup and that she was strictly there to meet friend. Friend replied back that No, group sex is not on the table and H&GF would be spending time together. Perhaps hubby is there in case things go badly for F and she needs to "retreat" or something, idk.
I'm going to just let it be and see what happens. I trust my wife to be smart because she is :)
As I said in another post - I trust my wife and she's a very sensible and practical person. She won't let anything happen she doesn't intend. :)
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