Thanks to everyone for their input on this. I haven't used this forum much yet, I'm more active on another one, but I so appreciate the variety of responses and how much thought everyone seems to put into them. I would like to respond to a few specific points several of you have made.
First off, vis a vis my sexual safety. I have not been with anyone else for a year except for boyfriend and husband. My last sexual experience that included anyone else was January 2011. I was tested for everything in August 2011 and I was fine. This means that anything I could have caught from my January partner had seven months to incubate. I met boyfriend for the first time in person later that month. He had had recent STD tests too, and had not had any sexual partners outside his marriage for at least three years, I believe. His wife has always been monogamous, for over two decades. My husband has been monogamous for about two years. I would say we are all perfectly safe. If anyone is lying about their sexual history, it's just as likely that it's his wife, as me. But I trust that she is being honest and hasn't cheated on him, because I know enough about her as a person to feel confident in that. I feel that she should know enough about me too. I can't MAKE someone trust me, but our interaction thus far, while somewhat limited, has definitely promoted the building of trust. If she doesn't trust me now, I doubt she ever will. That would be very sad, for me.
I believe she does trust my husband. They have formed a very close and regular penpal relationship, and I know she has told him some very personal things, which he has not shared with me. She is right to trust him, my husband would never cheat on anyone. I had hoped that her getting to know my husband so well would help my relationship with her, but so far, I can't tell if it is or not.
I do have empathy for the wife as a mono, nycindie, but I also know that she has put her husband, the man I love, through hell for about six YEARS now. I worry that she is NEVER going to be OK with him being poly, and I wonder how being with me can even be worth it to him. Every time he sees me it seems to engender so much discord on his end. I would have walked away a long time ago, love or no love, if I thought that by doing so he would just default to monogamy and be content with that, but he is poly to the core. He has told her numerous times that he loves her dearly, but if she truly can't deal with him being poly, he will let her go and support her as much as he can in building a new life and new relationships. She chooses to stay.
Vis a vis masturbating with a condom, boyfriend has tried that. He said he has been successful at doing that, and it isn't helping us. He's also tried drugs that are supposed to help with ED, on top of the hormones he's already on. The only thing he hasn't tried yet is wearing a condom with his wife. He said he is willing to do this.
I will address ViableAlternative's points individually:
She has every right to make boundaries within her primary partnership. You have every right not to like those boundaries. But the only thing you have CONTROL over is your involvement in the relationship. If your boyfriend is satisfied with the boundaries his wife needs to feel confident about her sexual health, you're welcome to be unhappy about it and discuss it with them, but I think it's unfair to expect them to change a boundary that they're both content with.
Only one of them is content with the boundaries she has set. My boyfriend is not content with them at all. He wants to fluid bond with me. He will not push it too much at this point because he doesn't want to upset her anymore than just him being poly is upsetting her. However, he says that if she is still not agreeing to allow us in another year's time, he will likely go ahead without her agreement on it, assuming that it still feels safe to him to do so.
Your post sincerely reads as though you're villifying her in your own mind, and making her responsible for your sexual disappointment. Things like how "the feeling I get from her is "There is nothing in it for me personally, that my husband has these feelings from you and is sleeping with you.
His wife actually said this pretty much verbatim to me in one of her emails to me a few months ago. While I like to think that her attitude has changed, I can't be sure. Her behavior on the fluid bonding issue doesn't seem to support that it has, to me.
"I suspect that this has nothing to do with pregnancy and disease, and everything to do with her wanting to be the only one he really enjoys sex with".... Especially in that last quote, it seems very villifying.
Maybe so. But the fact that she insists that a man with a five-year-old vasectomy that has always worked just fine, can get a 47 year-old woman in perimenopause pregnant, seems very disingenuous to me. Boyfriend says she is far more worried about pregnancy than STD risks. That is just not rational, and when something isn't rational, I look for the reasons behind it. I know she has major sexual jealousy where he is concerned. I also know that she isn't worried he is going to leave her for me, since I am totally unavailable to him in that way anyway. So I came up with a possible reason for her behavior. It might not be the kindest reason, but the circumstances support it, I think.
Last edited by gwendolenthefair; 01-14-2012 at 04:24 AM.