The story so far
So I guess I thought it was time I started my own thread now (after lurking around and reading as much as I can)
I've been with my primary partner for nearly 20 years, we get on well but I've had a number of affairs. We've attempted to mitigate my apparent need for other people by swinging (which didn't really work) and breaking up, which didn't really work, and a couple of years ago, we attempted to open up.
All the advice says, don't open up a relationship that is not already strong..- but if you really want to save/keep your primary relationship, especially if you have children (like we do), you'll try anything to do just that, eh?
So, the first time we tried poly she [F] actually (even though she had no explicit desire to be so) found someone pretty quickly, and I struggled with it. The main reasons I struggled are not because of insecurity of having another man in her life, but due to the sort of relationship she developed (D/s) and the secrecy she wanted (didn't want to share it with me at all). In the end, I pulled veto and closed it down. At the same time I had started to 'explore' a relationship with someone else, and felt I had to close that down too. Therefore, both ended up bitter and frustrated that it didn't work.
We're now nearly 15 months on. We've talked endlessly about what didn't work, and I've made it 100% clear that there will never be a time when I don't want to have someone else in my life. To that end, she determined that she didn't want to try poly again, but was happy to be mono and just not know about anything I might do with someone else. So i started to tentatively look again, and after a few weeks found someone to talk to [E], we met, we clicked and we've been seeing each other for a little over 2 months now.
Things move quite quickly it seems, as much because I'm always talking and thinking, and so F has changed the rules and now 'wants to know' so the last week or so, even though things with E are quite new and not yet sure exactly where things are going, I've explained how things are. So far so good. F hasn't panicked, and seems to be OK with things. What did surprise me though is that F has reactivated accounts on OKCupid, and now seems 'to be looking' though she says she doesn't know if she is looking or not. *(she's much more a see what happens kind of girl). Essentially this means she is looking, but doesn't want to seem obvious about it. I think I feel OK about this, but I really don't want it to be a tit for tat thing.
I'm not sure whether I want to know or not, this time, that she's talking or seeing anyone else unless she wants to share the relationship with me in some way. I'm very open to sharing my relationships with her, the challenge (as we've both appreciated) is that anyone we're involved with might not want to share themselves with our other partners, and I guess we have to be comfortable with that.
For me personally, I segment sex and emotional connection. They come together with F, and they may come together in a relationship with someone else, but it's more likely that I have an emotional relationship with someone that may include some physical aspects but it's not the point of the relationship, or I'd have a sexual relationship with someone that includes some form of ongoing relationship, but the emotional connection isn't the point. But I'm also finding that what i think I want, and what is available isn't always the same thing. I also find that what I think I want and what I actually find I like are two different things too.. so it does mean constant changing and re-evaluating.
> If and when to tell the children
> How to get the balance right between being as open as needed, honest and communicative and the right of other partners to levels of privacy.
> How to balance the needs of an existing relationship with another one.