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-   -   I'm not Poly, but he is (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=9490)

Wolfie 05-02-2011 11:58 PM

I'm not Poly, but he is
I'm more than a little confused in this relationship, which is only about 5 weeks old. One solution would be to talk it over with him, but he doesn't listen well. I think I need to be more certain of myself and what I'm saying before I approach him.

We're older, which matters only because at our ages (52 and 67), finding suitable partners is hard. For me, it's the difference between being alone or not. I've only been single for 2 1/2 years after a 32 year relationship. (I met my ex when I was 17, married at 20, separated at 49.)

Prior to our first date, I didn't know he was poly. I told him on the phone that I was looking for forever and Mr. Right. He said he wasn't anyone's Mr. Right. I laughed and said that was okay, I could still have fun with Mr. Right Now.

Our first date was great. We got along well. He told me about being poly, and I didn't see that it affected me much. Since he wasn't a candidate for my next spouse, it didn't matter to me what he did on his nights off. I told him frankly that when I ended up in an exclusive relationship, that would be the end of this one. He agreed, and I figured that was the end of the discussion. I was wrong.

His longtime partner wanted to meet me, so I opted to go to one of the social events of the local poly group. You know, neutral turf, as it were. It went well, but I'm still not all that interested in the lifestyle.

Despite his assurances to the contrary, our relationship is mostly about sex. He thinks it's the best he's ever had; I think it's adequate and vanilla. You can guess who the kinky one is! ;) If I wanted to go out, I'm sure we could, we just don't. And maybe when I lose that "new girlfriend" smell, I'll get taken for rides instead of ridden hard.

So, what is it that confuses me? Well, if I'm the girlfriend of a married poly man, ostensibly forming one leg (arm?) of a vee with him as the hinge, what responsibility do I have to his wife? What responsibility do I have to the poly community that they belong to? I'm invited to participate in all these activities, but I don't want to. The wife feels rejected if I don't go. I really don't feel like my relationship is with her, but there are probably social mores I don't understand in the poly world. I thought I was entering into a non-exclusive relationship with an interesting guy who happened to be married. I think now that it's more complicated than that.

Tell me, please. What have I gotten myself into? Is my view so skewed that someone is going to get very hurt? Should I end this immediately? Or am I seeing it fairly clearly, and it's okay for me not to forge a relationship with the wife or declare that I've chosen poly as a lifestyle?

Thanks for any advice you care to offer.


bkreader 05-03-2011 01:08 AM

Your only responsibility to his wife is to make your preferences known to everyone. As far as community goes, being public with your private relationships is entirely up to you. There are a lot of people that are open about being poly, and a lot that only mention it to people they're interested in.

Leaving things exactly as they are sounds like a recipe for someone getting hurt. If his wife can't accept that you don't want to be friends than she'll get hurt, and if she's hurt than your boyfriend is likely going to be hurt as well. If you force yourself to be friends and it bothers you than you'll likely just grow to resent it, and things won't work. Those are the extremes, but you can see how a lack of communication doesn't help.

By talking with everyone you won't guarantee that things will work, but maybe his wife wants to be friends but can accept that you're not interested. It may still result in things ending, but get it all out in the open so everyone involved has the chance to make their needs known.

nycindie 05-03-2011 01:29 AM


Originally Posted by Wolfie (Post 79640)
Prior to our first date, I didn't know he was poly. I told him on the phone that I was looking for forever and Mr. Right. He said he wasn't anyone's Mr. Right. I laughed and said that was okay, I could still have fun with Mr. Right Now.

Wait a minute, I feel like this isn't the first time I've read this story. It's very familiar. Have you posted here before, maybe with a different username?

Wolfie 05-03-2011 01:40 AM

New Here
I haven't posted before, since I'm new to poly. It's kind of nice to know that my situation isn't unique.

redpepper 05-03-2011 06:30 AM

Hi Wolfie, we had someone on here once with a similar name...

His wife has expectations of you that are not being fulfilled by you, or are, begrudgingly. I would have to say that you should stop doing that. :) You don't owe her or anyone anything.

The thing with poly is that there are no rules, just boundaries, that you get to create. If you don't want to go to poly events and be part of their community then don't. If you want to go out on proper dates instead of staying home and having kinky fucking all the time, then ask for that and start negotiating what your boundaries are. Its up to you... if you don't, then assumptions and expectations start seeping in and no one is to blame for that but you, because you didn't speak up...

So now that I have said that, I will back up a bit. I realize that you are new to this and this is not a situation that is what you had hoped for or are interested in having for the long haul. It sounds like you have told them that and they aren't listening or are hoping that you will change your mind, or just don't get it. That isn't entirely fair, but they are likely used to a certain type of person and you are not that type.

It sounds like you are mono and have no intention of attempting to change that. That could be the problem here. My boyfriend is mono and he doesn't get the whole hanging out together in a community thing, or talking about relationship dynamics, or the constant issues with communication blah blah blah... he tires of it and he isn't interested and he doesn't get it and to him its all a bit silly and confusing. He is a very patient man :) (his name is Mono on here; you might want to PM him?)

Keep telling them that you are not poly and not interested in their social life, and not willing to become that involved and that you would appreciate that they stop asking you. By doing this it will likely ensure the end of the relationship I think as if there is no love and just sex and could end when you find a mono partner I can't imagine why he would stay once the sex honeymoon is over... No biggy, but it might be something to be aware of... poly is about love, and if this is what they are used to rather than casual sex and a short term thing, then they might be setting themselves up by expecting more. Maybe telling them that would be an honest and open thing to do that would clarify things on many levels.

Hey, wait a minute... I just thought of something. You are wanting to go out more and he wants to have sex... he is looking for love and another partner and you think this is temporary due to the nature of his relationship to his wife.... This sounds like a mixed message, or could do. Usually casual dates are about sex and usually poly relationships, although largely about sex, are about going on dates and establishing bonds... there might be some confusion there in the messages you are giving each other.

One last thing, this is only five weeks old... there is tons of time to see where this goes. It could be a way that his wife gets to know you or feels comfortable with you by inviting you to poly events... she might be showing you off. Or he is. Is there something that you can do with her that would help her feel comfortable that would also make you feel more comfortable? Even just telling her that you don't feel comfortable at the events they invite you too, but you would do something else, you just need some time to figure out what and how you feel about going and doing something with a lovers wife... buying some time is totally acceptable because its honest and respects them.

Wolfie 05-03-2011 05:03 PM

Thanks for the advice! All of it was helpful, esp. Red Pepper. Now when I sit down to talk with my lover, I can focus my message and not be wishy washy. I really, really appreciate it.

The funny part is that my ex and I flirted with the poly lifestyle, looking for a man to date to complete a triad. Just when we thought we'd found the right guy, he stopped seeing us because the divorce he was going through turned nasty. He was afraid if his soon-to-be-ex found out about our relationship, she'd use it against him in court. We never found another guy who fit, and soon stopped looking. I guess you could say I'm poly-friendly, but still a mono.


MonoVCPHG 05-03-2011 05:49 PM

Quick flashback
Hi Wolfie...I do have a litle experience that might relate to your situation. Here is a link that leads to a thread on my struggles in trying to find peace around socializing in a much different community.

Missing Normal...Struggling, Loving and Learning

You've been very honest and clear that this relationship will come to an end if you find an exclusive one that fits you better. That is admirable and very mature IMO. If your partner understands and accepts this then there is no disrespect involved. So I guess you both have to decide if your criteria to be in a relationship can accommodate you wanting to be completely separate and them wanting to include you. If they are really adamant about you joining them within the community, then I would question their motivation a little...do they want to fit in socially by showcasing their polyness to others? Have they told you why they want this?

ihaveasecret 07-31-2011 07:25 AM

Hi Wolfie,
You are an excellent writer. Wondering how it all turned out. If you're still out there, please give us an update.

Wolfie 07-31-2011 04:16 PM


Originally Posted by ihaveasecret (Post 94735)
Hi Wolfie,
You are an excellent writer. Wondering how it all turned out. If you're still out there, please give us an update.

We were able to come to an understanding about the issues I raised. The info I got from here was very helpful. Ultimately, the problem we had was, I think, generational. There was 15 years between us, and the word "no" meant different things to each of us. The first time it happened, it was smoothed over with a very sweet apology, but the second time I said no (because my adult daughter was upstairs) and not respected, that ended the relationship.

I'm still rather ambivalent about poly relationships, though I realize my ex and I were somewhat poly at different points in our marriage, as the marriage grew and changed over 29 years. This experience didn't sour me on polyamory, since that wasn't the problem in the end!

Thanks to everyone who offered help!


nycindie 07-31-2011 05:56 PM

Hey Wolfie - so sorry it didn't work out. Your first post did seem to paint a picture of a guy who is very stubborn and set in his ways, so probably for the best. You and I are about the same age, so I am interested in your journey. I'm sure you will continue to date, and perhaps explore poly some more, so please come back and keep us posted (whether poly-related or not).

I'm another member who loves the way you write!

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