Kink Partner Confusion?
Been checking out the forums for the last few days and been pondering my new situation (which is what brought me here in the first place). I have seen lots of great conversations, but nothing specifically to my situation...so here goes.
I have a loving relationship with my fiancee, N. We love each other deeply and want to grow old together. Recently, we have been going through a bit of a rough patch (money problems, unemployment for the both of us, depression as well) and it kinda came to a pivotal moment a few weeks ago where N expressed that I really need to further understand and accept myself (and how I am wired be be a sub) and she needs to accept her desire to be topped, specifically with ropes and flogging.
I am really working to understand myself and my needs and desires, but she is as well and it has greatly confused me.
We have a few friends in our lives who are openly poly. In the past, N has said she understands poly, but doesn't need it in her life. She has even said I could go have sex with anyone I wanted because she is not jealous in that way. She wants me to be happy. Now, as we are understanding our personal wiring, N says she wants the mental space and feeling of clarity that comes with being topped and that she might want to seek that out with someone else since I cannot give that to her. We generally have a peer relationship, not one of dominance in either direction...so I recognize this inability on my part.
So we talked about how a kink thing outside of us could be possible and I started off with some rules that were too restrictive for the level she wants. She wants kink, but does not believe she will be able to feel that mental space without having an emotional connection with the person. She agreed that this kink experience would be ok with no sex, no removal of clothing, no kissing, no genital stimulation. Basically, rope bondage, flogging and all with a person she has an emotional connection with. This doesn't sound like poly at all to me. This sounds like it could be an awesome super close friend who you might even say you love, but you don't have a romantic relationship with.
So this is where things get weird...
Now, since we have had some really difficult, emotional discussions (particularly since I am more wired for mono than poly), N occasionally has needed to physically leave for a few hours to let her emotions settle (leaving in tears, emotionally exhausted and needing to catch her breath) . She has left particularly to be with one of our few local friends who has some understanding of the situation as he is kinked and poly.
I honestly believe she visited him for advice, but as I have been talking with N, I discovered he went and straight out offered to her that HE would be willing to be that kink partner. In another discussion they had over dinner, he actually asked her out on a date. These both happened with him knowing full well that my conversations with N are nowhere near a point where it feels ok for someone else to ask her such questions. It feels like disrespect for me, for N and for our relationship. Am I overreacting?
Now, I know full well that when N met him many years ago (before I met N), he wanted to date her. She was not into him in that way at all and had to have the "not now, not ever" conversation. Return to the present day and I feel like he is pushing her towards an easy solution to her needs...a solution with him. Even if this is what she wants in the end, the discussion is between her and I, not her and him and I. All this has now made me uncomfortable and I don't have good feelings in his general direction. She claims now that her feelings for him are unclear and I can't help but feel that he has opportunistically helped bring the situation farther along, faster than I would have liked.
The last conversation I had with N was about not specifically kink, but more about her desires to be able to express her feelings for other people. Woah...not the conversation we were having a week earlier. If this is how she is feeling, ok then, but I'm starting to feel a bit ambushed...all things considered. So I try to ask her about what she does want. She says, more than friends, but beyond that she doesn't know. I press her for details (do you want to date, hold hands, kiss, have a boyfriend), but she just gets mad at me every time I ask for specifics. She does not seem to desire sex with other people...so I know her desires don't extend quite into the poly discussions that I see on this board, but I remain confused. I can't agree to something if I don't know what I am agreeing to.
It is also coming out more in the last few conversations that N's previous relationships have failed because her partner's did not recognize her needs. I am being non-specific about what needs those are because I still don't think she knows quite what those are.
So, I now find myself looking at this rationally. I love her and want to be with her and I know she feels the same about me. I realize that I cannot simply tell her to completely close the door to warm feelings for other people for if I do and she agrees, it will only lead to an even more horrible blowup later which could easily lead to our split.
I keep thinking that it's ok to have a kink partner, with rules...but I am worried about it crossing into poly. I am not wired for poly. I don't disrespect it at all, but right at this moment I am not ready for it. I might be if it can be gradual (actually it sounds kinda nice if I can get over my insecurities), but right now I am lost and confused. My finacee started off saying she wants a kink partner...but now I have no idea what that means.
Any thoughts for this awesome forum?