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-   -   Thoughts on being his secret? (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=69828)

Tigger40 04-28-2014 05:02 PM

Thoughts on being his secret?
What do you think about being someone's secret (from his wife)? I had a brief flirtation where I was someone's secret. I kept it secret too but that was just for fun-- if I were found out, there would be no consequences, because that's how my marriage is right now. I mean it's fun. But it wasn't that way for him and before it went very far-- perhaps it had already gone too far-- I told him that although I loved being his secret, I needed to tell him what I would do if his wife found him out. I said I'd assume that he wants to stay married and so I'd kill the relationship entirely and never speak to him again. Not out of spite or anything of course, but to protect him.

That woke him up I think and he ended it. And we don't speak, which is sad. At the time the brief flirtation was worth all future suffering but now I wish I'd foregone the brief flirtation and still had the friend.

So I've thought & thought about how to handle that situation. I guess the obvious is-- don't get involved with married men who don't have an open marriage.

I've been the secret keeper when it did have consequences. I didn't get found out. I (eventually) confessed and our marriage is all the stronger for it. Who am I to keep that experience from him & his wife? Or if it turns out less positively, who is to say that wasn't the best outcome anyway?

I feel like I'd be ok with being someone's secret. But perhaps I'm being hopelessly naive and it never turns out well. What I'm asking is NOT some moral judgment, but what is your experience? Maybe I can learn from your experience, rather than learn EVERYTHING the hard way.

Inyourendo 04-28-2014 05:26 PM

I wouldn't be anyone secret. I am out as poly and my partner will need to be as well. Its a requirement for dating me.

I also would never enable a cheater.

icesong 04-28-2014 06:29 PM

Yep, not a secret...
I don't require that someone I'm with be utterly OUT as poly - I'm in most cases perfectly content with being introduced as a friend if circumstances dictate, work or family or "friends who wouldn't get it".

That said, *I* am out so I don't know that I'd be happy with someone who wasn't comfortable with being introduced as a sig other to people I ordinarily would introduce someone as a sig other to.

Either way, I won't enable cheating under any circumstances, not even a don't-ask-don't-tell sort of thing where it's sort of ok but not "known".

That came off as really judgmental - if the people in question are happy with that as their arrangement it's none of my business, just not something I can/will be involved in from my own personal/family background.

JaneQSmythe 04-28-2014 06:45 PM

I would not enable a cheater...in fact, I don't know that I could be with someone who was enabling a cheater. The potential to create drama/personal harm in MY life is too great. (Plus, if any of my partners was knowingly enabling a cheater then they are not the people I think they are.)

Re: DADT - I would be very leery of this, I don't think that it is a stable model. I would need to have very very clear PROOF that that was, in fact, the arrangement and need to know the history of how this has worked for them in the past. I would need to know WHAT the DADT actually covered and any other rules/restrictions in play. Overall, I don't think it would be worth it.

That being said, I am not all the way "out" personally. I am willing to be a "secret" from family/co-workers/public. It would be much more difficult to be a "secret" from their close friends that I might see socially. And I would NOT be willing to keep a relationship secret from MY partners/metamours/close friends.


sweetersong 04-28-2014 06:49 PM

Some will probably say my opinion is a double standard but I don't think so.

If I was dating guys then no, I wouldn't be their secret. But with a woman I see it differently if she is just looking for a relationship with another

Tigger40 04-28-2014 07:42 PM

What is DADT?

I'm more interested in actual experiences than "I'd never do this". I'm curious what has and hasn't worked for other people. If a lot of people chime in with "Tried that, it was a disaster" then I'll have some serious reservations before trying it myself. Or if there's some stories like "I've done that a lot, a couple times it was a disaster but there have been several that were ok" then I might go ahead (next time an opportunity presents).

Norwegianpoly 04-28-2014 07:58 PM

I have been a secret to someone's girlfriend and while it was a bit fun, it was also insensitive to her as well as in the end spoiled our chance at playing it real poly. I will never be a secret again. I am too poly for that :rolleyes:

Well, I am a secret to new bf's mom, but that is more of a mutural decition and also we have not been together that long. We are in the process of slowly expanding who knows.

KC43 04-28-2014 07:58 PM

DADT = Don't Ask, Don't Tell.

I'm Guy's secret, but he isn't married. His ex-wife refuses to accept that their divorce means he--and she--can date people, and has told him if she finds out he has any girlfriend, she won't let him be around her and their son. She's the only one I'm a secret from in his life, though. As long as it doesn't interfere with his relationships with his kids, he says he doesn't care who knows. And he says he'll deal with it if his ex finds out; he won't lie to keep our relationship hidden, he just doesn't talk about it around her. I don't really have a problem with that, since I'm not openly poly and Hubby is concerned about word getting back to his family or to my ex-husband.

I don't have any experience like you're asking for, Tigger, so I won't add to this; the only time I've been involved with a married man was a situation where his wife set it up, so obviously I wasn't secret and he wasn't cheating. My personal preference, like others who have responded, is to steer far clear of any man who's cheating on a partner.

PolyinPractice 04-28-2014 09:00 PM


Originally Posted by KC43 (Post 265913)
His ex-wife refuses to accept that their divorce means he--and she--can date people, and has told him if she finds out he has any girlfriend, she won't let him be around her and their son.

It's actually reassuring to me to hear about other crazy metamours :) Not that I don't feel for you :-p

Kernow 04-28-2014 09:18 PM

I come at this from a different perspective, my husband kept the other woman in his life secret from me. By the time I found out it had already ended and it had caused them both a lot of hurt and heartache. For me the greatest hurt was being lied to and it took a lot of hard work to get past it and begin to rebuild trust again. The story has a happy ending because we have gradually built a much more honest and open relationship but it could so easily have had a very different outcome.

Four years later his 'secret woman' is still an important part of our lives. I don't blame her for what happened but she sold herself short and caused herself a lot of unhappiness. It really isn't worth it, don't settle for being someone's secret, you deserve better than that.

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