Hi Imaginary and Grounded - It's a new day and I can't thank you enough for your previous posts. I wanted to answer some of the questions you guys raised.
Originally Posted by GroundedSpirit
The only concern here of course is the fact that he's got a mate at home and how is THAT going to play out? Last thing anyone needs is more drama in their life. Something to think about.
Yep, that's a biggie all right. One of my major concerns is that S. maybe has really given up on working thru things with his wife and is just looking to put another notch in his belt. While some in the poly community seem to be OK with "drive-by shooting" sex I most definitely am NOT! I think K. has this under control, but I know from some of the things she and S. chatted about online that he's gotta be right at the boiling point. As a fellow sufferer of the male condition I can image what he's going thru: here's this great woman K. online who's willing to talk about sex when his wife isn't, who initiated some really deep emotional conversations, who is after all in an open marriage... Jeesh, that's like catnip! I'd want to screw her too!
As it stands right now K. is good with "let's wait and see what happens". I really think that S. has to get his own affairs in order [pun intended] before even a meet and greet should happen. I also think the meet and greet should include S.'s wife. Is this too restrictive? For me the sine qua non for open relationships is honesty and communication; seems like this should include all affected parties.
Originally Posted by ImaginaryIllusion
Originally Posted by HowDidIGetHere
...my head damn near exploded! Jealousy, betrayal, fear - the unholy triumvirate of negative emotions. It was awful for me, and my reaction made her feel terrible.
Yep, that'd be an obstacle. So where does this come from? What are you afraid of? Why are you jealous? You make no mention of any jealousy issues wrt T. Why would this come up specifically with S?
Very, very interesting question, Imaginary. I'd been trying to explain to K. how I felt about T. What I would tell her was that when they snuggled on the couch together, or asked me for some alone time for themselves I felt absolutely great! She didn't understand this - how could I not feel some pangs of jealousy? I did at first when our relationship was initially forming, what had changed? Was I repressing the feelings, was I just not interested in her any more?
Then last week I had an eye-popping experience: I tripped over the work "compersion" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compersion
. It was like discovering another color, or a new cardinal direction - absolutely incredible! Here was this word which described the emotion I was feeling. What a relief to know that I wasn't the first human to have had this feeling!
She's still kinda dubious about compersion because she herself hasn't had to face the idea of T. with another woman. So far he's been happy just to browse, he hasn't found anybody really interesting, and K. and T. had a policy of "don't ask, don't tell" if T. wanted to date somebody else. I've been slowly wearing away at her resistance to knowing whomever T. might want to date (call her X. although I sure hope this doesn't stand for "Xanthippe" <GRIN>). I believe he would like what K. and I have - a really close friendship with X., then the joy of physical union, possibly then shading into a deep committed love. God, I hate that phrase "It's just sex." Blech!
So, why am I jealous of S.? Because I don't want to share K.'s love or time. I want them all for myself - mine, mine mine! (Well, T.'s and mine, that's OK. I am the interloper after all so I have to make some concessions.) And yet, the rational part of my mind knows that emotions are NOT a finite quantity, and love is not a zero-sum game: giving love to one person does not necessarily mean you're taking away love from somebody else. This is, however, the prevailing understading of love in the Western world.
Time is another matter, because far-out quantum physics notwithstanding, our human experience of time is finite. Any time K. would spend with S. would be time away from both T. and me. That's a solid fact. So could I handle K. being off alone with S. while I sit on the couch and throw tennis balls for the dogs? That's a real tough nut for me.
On the one hand, I'm glad that K. has a friend in S. and that they 'love' in the Greek senses of caritas and agape. On the other hand the eros thing is real bitch, 'cause that's MY job! I'm supposed to be the 'new guy'! I think K. would agree that our sex lives, even after two years, just keep getting better and better. So where's the upside? Is it the thrill of something new and different?
My head is starting to hurt from all this introspection so I'll close this posting by thanking everybody once again for their replies and their help. Who knew being a human being could be so complex?