Originally Posted by Root
Both of us like our relationship as it is. It's possible to spend a lot of time around another person without them stealing your soul.
I'm trying to be lighthearted, but I really do just enjoy being in very active and close relationships.
First, Root, I like how you handled yourself. (Tinfoil hats are so useful! I put one on my dog just in case.
) Actually listening to advice, especially when delivered a bit harshly or snarkily, is not easy to do. Good for you. I also appreciate that you and your wife are trying to avoid the pitfalls of seeking a triad. That is also a fine thing - it would be lovely if more people did that!
I suggest searching here and elsewhere on the web for 'couple privilege'. A caveat - if you are in a couple and so presumably have couple privilege, this does not make you a bad person. It just means you have the responsiblity to think through how having that privilege affects how you think and act - both as individuals and as a couple. There is much discussion about couple privilege here and several poly focused blogs have written about it.
Also read through, when you can, and as much as you can, the fifty zillion posts here on unicorns, triads, etc. It's a lot to go through but reading it will provide you with a sense of what typically goes horribly, horribly wrong with a couple (usually m/f with the man being straight and the woman being bi) seeking a bisexual woman to be with both of them. And you will get a sense of what happens when things go well - such as many people have already mentioned that triads that happen organically seem to work better in the long term.
I am, technically, a unicorn. I date men and women and was single until recently. I am bi/pansexual. I have not had any bad experiences with couples. However, I personally dislike dating couples. One big reason is that I suck at multi-tasking. I find it mentally and emotionally difficult to split (or double?) my focus. This is less of an issue when interacting one on one. However the idea of interactions between all three all or most of the time just makes me tired. (I am also an introvert.)
There is also the reality that I am very, very rarely attracted to both members of a couple. It just doesn't happen that often. Even if I like and enjoy both people, I am usually sexually interested just in one. My current FWB is married. I think the world of his wife - she is full of awesome - but there is zippo sexual chemistry between us. Fortunately, while they like to play together, it is not a requirement. It is my impression that being sexually attracted mostly or entirely just to one 'half' of a couple is really common.
Finally, I quoted the bit above to highlight a concern. It is great that you and your wife are content and happy with each other. It is also great that you are coming to poly out of a place of strength, connection, and joy instead of what poly folks call the 'relationship broken, add more people!' fallacy.
This is something that most people don't understand when moving into ethical non-monogamy and/or poly. Your relationship will change.
It will change in ways you or your wife never anticipated. You cannot expect it to remain the same, as it is now. There is no way for you to avoid change and be ethically poly. (I think this is where the stereotypcial 'unicorn hunters' often get themselves into trouble.) Your relationship will change in ways that are utterly unpredictable. You will be surprised and stunned at the twists and turns your life will take. Now this may not be bad. You may find that your relationship with each other is even stronger and more joyful with poly than as a monogamous couple. Or the impact may be more neutral. Or your marriage will crack apart.
If you want to keep your relationship at the place where it is now, don't go the poly route.
If you and your wife decide to take the plunge, just know that the effects and consequences are unpredictable. The rewards may be great - I hope so -but it is not possible to know the outcome before starting this experiment. Of course, that's true of life in general. But poly seems to magnify changes in relationships, kind of like how hothouses grow bigger plants faster.