This should be interesting
A friend of ours figured out quickly that Curly and I are poly. (That's not really difficult, as we're not terribly worried about people finding out.) When he'd asked about it originally, I explained a bit about it and mentioned that Curly was interested in finding a girlfriend, though she was open to anything.
Well, he asked me about it again yesterday, asking if I thought she were open to men. He was wondering if I'd object to him approaching her. I have no objections to anybody approaching her and said so.
I just don't think he fully understands that "poly" doesn't mean "fucking around." He and his wife have major communication issues. I know he's cheated on her before (long conversations with one of their daughters explained a lot) and that he's been sexually frustrated in the marriage since they began having children. I don't see that as a good situation to be trying anything poly in, though that's their trouble.
So, I sent him a link to Wikipedia's entry on polyamory as a primer on what poly involves. I also pointed out that, should my wife decide to pursue the matter (she's only met him in passing and has no idea if she'd be interested in dating him), the first thing she'd do is sit down and chat with his wife about it. If it's not OK with his wife, it's not going to work for mine. (Yeah, I've discussed it Curly already).
I'm now wondering how this is going to play out. Will he simply decide to drop it because he'd have to be open about it with his wife? Could it actually spur them into seriously discussing their relationship and how to meet each other's needs better and then not want to?
Their family has problems with communication. They don't like that they can't communicate well--just can't seem to change what they're doing. I, apparently, am a good influence on them (stop laughing!) and have them thinking about how better to communicate with each other. (Meaning I've invoked the "If you want different results, you'll have to change what you do" principle a few times, among other things.)
I'm hoping this serves as a catalyst for him to begin working on communicating with his wife in a fashion that works for her, too. They're each (I'll include the daughters in that) basically good people locked in some really painful dynamics.
Besides reporting on what should be interesting to watch play out, I'm curious as to whether any of you folks find that other people are interested in learning how your relationships work, because they've never been involved in open, honest relationships?
If the other couple's relationship is already taking strain, and this guy has cheated on his wife etc., then maybe there may not be enough of a "store" of good will for it to pan out for them. Maybe it will be the last straw for her. Especially since you say that it seems to him more of a "fucking around" thing than anything else.
But on the other hand it could be exactly the catalyst needed to start those important discussions and help them both move towards something a little more open etc. Maybe you could encourage some communication within their family without pushing yourself too much into the dynamic? Encourage him to speak to his wife etc (since Curly will insist on that anyway). I can imagine that, in the headspace of the wife, she might not appreciate the intrusion and could feel ganged up on if it's essentially you three against her if she decides she is not open to the idea.
Its been my experience up till now that (unfortunately) some people are hostile towards learning how your relationships work, specifically for the reason that it forces a sort of introspection that may be too uncomfortable at that moment. Seems to me that people make that progression in their relationships, and lives in general, at their own rate and although you can be an inspirational force, it really needs to come from them.
Just my waffly two cents :)
I agree with kamala, some good points there.
I found that my online POF profile when I was dating got several responses a day from men in similar situations. They all wanted to know how it could possibly be to have that kind of communication, trust and security in my marriage that I could be looking, openly, for all to see, for another relationship, or MORE!
What an interesting situation... keep us posted?!
At this point, it appears he's thinking through whether he wants to approach his wife about it or not. I suspect it may be something that he thinks is a good idea when he's been drinking and doesn't feel as inhibited about discussing matters with his wife, then when he's completely sober, feels too inhibited to bring it up.
Most of his family knows we're poly--well, those still living at home, save the youngest--and we've touched on it briefly in a couple of conversations. None of them are hostile to the idea, so I figure it's only a matter of time before it crops up in conversation again and I can explain more about the underpinnings and how they can help in mono pairings. I really like these people and would love to see them work through their issues, whether they try poly on for size or not.
I figure if they're not hostile to the idea of poly, then eventually they'll ask about how it works.
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