New - possible quad, complicated, looking for advice
I'm not exactly sure how to put this sure to be very long post together so it makes the most sense, so I'm just going to get after it and hope for the best. Hopefully this will serve as an intro as well. Please bear with me – I'll try to use the proper terminology but may mess this up some. I'm not even sure this qualifies as true polyamory – maybe poly curious? Seems like folks around here are pretty forgiving of this type of stuff though, so here goes.
I and my wife, D, have recently entered into what may be a poly quad with another married couple, J and his wife R, who we have been longtime friends with. However, there are significant complications with the arrangement. First some background, then the complications, then our (My and D's) loss of poly virginity, then my and D's current situation (which is good). Here we go:
The four of us met in college 16+ years ago – The guys at one school, the women at another. J & R had known each other and started dating in High School. D and I were introduced to each other through them and we were casual acquaintances for several years, until we started dating about 12 years ago. The four of us have been friends since then, closer or not at various points due to geography and some crazy work schedules, but always some level of communiction. J and I were each other's best men at our weddings, and R was D's maid of honor. J & R have been married 11 years, D and I 10.
Now the complications: about 6 weeks ago (prior to D's and my first poly experience), J and I went away for an overnight “guys weekend” ostensibly to go skiing, but really more to catch up with each other, go out, and have a good time. At this guys weekend, J revealed to me that R has been cheating on him with another guy she knew from high school. He had become aware of it, confronted her, and they had subsequently gone to therapy. She had promised to stop seeing the “other guy” but had not actually stopped. J became aware of this broken promise, and again confronted her. The end result was that J was pretty much prepared to ask for a divorce, his primary concern was their 3 year old daughter. He also told me that, at R's suggestion (with the implication that it might fix their marriage), the two of them had met a couple online for swinging, which they had done once with this other couple, and were contemplating again. He asked me not to discuss the entire situation with anyone, including my wife. I agreed to this.
3 weeks later, D and I wind up back at J and R's house after their daughter's birthday party, hanging out and catching up (we have a 2 year old daughter). After the kids were in bed, and subsequent to some adult beverages which apparently lowered inhibitions all around, R began discussing their swinging experience. This led to a discussion about comfort levels with different activities around different people, followed over a span of time by the four of us ending up all in the same bed, myself having sex with R, and J having sex with D. Though I have been intrigued by the possibility of a F/M/F threesome in the past, I had never seriously considered a quad type situation. Further, while D had occasionally seemed not turned-off by the possibilty of a F/M/F threesome, she never really seemed interested in trying to make it happen. We had never discussed the situation as it happened, in any more than a casual mention. There was no discussion, between myself and D, while events were unfolding.
The following morning (while still at J and R's house) D and I talked about what had happened the previous night, and we both felt very good about what had happened. We both had a very pleasurable experience, and were both surprised at our mutual lack of jealousy at each other, as well as our new (and similar) feelings toward J and R respectively. We ended up staying most of the day at J and R's, and R and I had another sexual encounter (separate from our respective spouses) as did D and J. At that time, I was somewhat actively trying to keep my emotions in check, to keep the sex with R as “just sex” as I thought that was how I should approach it. However, in retrospect, I have realized that I do have new, deeper feelings for R. I have discussed this with D, and she has said she feels the same for J.
The result, between D and I, has been nearly all positive. Our communication over the last 3 weeks has been better than it ever has in our relationship. Prior to this happening, our sex life was, for lack of a better term, “in a rut.” Since then, we have had more good sex than we have had in probably the past year. The only downside, as far as I am concerned, is that D has found it significantly more difficult to reach orgasm with me, on some occasions, than it was prior to our “loss of poly virginity.” I'm not quite sure what to make of this, but I'm not particularly upset by it.
D has expressed her desire to have further sexual interactions with J and R, to both of them as well as myself. She has told me that she would not likely be comfortable with the same activities with couples we do not know as well as J and R. She has also said that she would not be comfortable continuing a sexual relationship with J and R if they were to continue to also have sex with others. I guess that means she is looking for a poly-fi-quad? She also indicated that she is more comfortable with one on one sex with either myself or J than a foursome. I tend to feel the same, though I think I am less averse to another foursome situation than D is.
D continues to communicate with R on a regular (almost daily) basis mostly via text message (their preferred form of communication), and R seems to be eager to have another meeting / get together / sexual encounter (with me). I have tried to further discuss our situation with J, but he is by nature somewhat less than communicative, and works a strange schedule. I have had one chance to talk to him by phone, and he said that while he enjoyed the experience with myself and D, he was “not sure” if another sexual encounter should occur, due to the potential divorce between he and R. I certainly agree with his concerns (and having known about them prior, had our first encounter been a more “planned” affair, I probably would have nixed it – though I am glad it happened). I guess it's important to note also that J and R have not specifically stated a desire for more than casual sex with D and I. At least to me, however, our strong pre-existing friendship kind of precludes “casual sex.” It seems to me that it is already more than that. R hinted at that feeling to me as well during pillow talk.
My biggest source of anxiety about the whole situation is the lack of communication regarding J and R's potential divorce. D did see a card (inadvertently) from R to J while we were there that expressed her regret, and her desire to repair her relationship with J, but it did not go into specifics, so D doesn't really know what is going on. I do not believe that R is aware that I know what is going on either. This to me seems like a time-bomb in the relationship, and I plan to discuss it with J the next time I get the chance to talk to him. I avoid text messages with him, as D and I are very open about each other's texts, in a casual way, and I don't want her to see anything about the divorce until I talk to J about sharing it.
I guess I'm posting this in hopes of getting some outside perspective to let me know if I'm approaching our situation in a reasonable way. My personal feeling is that I want to continue the sexual relationships between myself and R, as well as J and D, but I don't want to make the divorce situation even more volatile between J and R. Since that is on the brink, can D and I make it worse? Is it possible D and I could help J and R move back closer to each other?
Thanks to those who took the time to read my mini-novel, I look forward to hearing your advice.
Yes, I would be worried about their relationship. Poly seems to work best when primary relationships are doing well. There's doesn't seem to be. I think if this were me I would wait until there is a clearer idea of what is going on. I think I would tell them I'm waiting and just want to be a really good friend for now.
Thank you, Redpepper, for taking the time to read my story and provide your insight. After re-reading my post above, I have probably included a bunch of irrelevant material, and may have left relevant stuff out. However, I guess I'll address that as it comes up.
I am going to take your advice...at the very least, I don't want to add any more destabilizing effect on J and R's relationship. I don't know if they will be able to save it, but I don't want to contribute to breaking it faster. I'm going to be seeing J on monday for another ski trip (along with one of his co-workers, who as far as I know is not aware of any of this stuff) so assuming there is a chance to talk to him, I plan to try to discuss much of this stuff with him, and get his take on how to approach it. I really want to try to work out a way with him to get D and R fully in the loop on who knows what about J and R's potential divorce...I'm somewhat uncomfortable continuing keeping the truth from them.
Again, thank you for your continued advice!
Wether in a quad, or any other relationship style,....sometimes we have to take the 'hard road' . We have to pull back, pull away, and make sure issues are dealt with, instead of forging on.
It`s one of those things, that is easy for us all to recognize, but in the moment, it can be hard to follow through. It seems most people prefer to carry on, until a explosion happens, wishing for the best.
If you are able to put the brakes on, and pull-away for a bit,..you might be able to help them as 'friends' first. Help them under the relationship you`ve had for many years. The relationship with the most experience.
They might get mad. They might be upset with the 'brakes' being added. They might go further down the rabbit hole, before they hit rock bottom.
There are many things that can happen. Just be true to the friendship, dont desert them, but dont pretend like their marriage problems are no big deal. Be honest, and upfront, without being overbearing.
Yes, relationships are either broke, or made stronger this way, but whichever happens, at least it`s true.
Non-monogamy has a lot of options within it. Poly-fi begins to limit some of that. Unless you are all sure thats what you want of course.
It might sound like I am down on poly-fi. I am not. Just one of those things everywhere should be aware of :)
They need to heal themselves, imo :)
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