Originally Posted by blackdog2
i guess what i want to know is what i CAN ask of her in lieu of all this. what might be a reasonable time frame in which to bring this up again?
I think there's a three-step process in this.
First of all, table the new partner you're considering. Walk away from that. It's like the sword of Damocles hanging over your relationship. Your current partner can't be expected to have a reasonable discussion about anything under those conditions.
Second, tell your partner about this. Tell her you're walking away from that, and tell her why. Reassure her that you do not hold this against her or blame her in any way. (Do I need to say that you actually shouldn't
hold it against her or blame her? Because you shouldn't.)
Third, spend as long as it takes talking about this in a no-pressure environment. Make it pure theory. There's not an outside lover waiting to be brought into the situation. There's not even anyone you have in mind. It's all about what she feels, what you feel, what each of you wants out of the relationship. Define your parameters. Let this take as long as it takes. Don't fixate on it, or focus on it, or let it consume you. Bring it up occasionally, and if she needs to think, let her think. As long as it takes. No pressure.
It took my wife more than seven years
to be okay with an open relationship, and almost six months
to establish exactly what we wanted and needed from each other. We couldn't have lasted that long if I had pressured her, or lined up prospects to jump into my bed the second I got a green light. Indeed, she claimed to be onboard a couple times when she really wasn't... just to see what I'd do. You have to recognise when your partner isn't really onboard, and keep waiting
I don't suggest that you should necessarily be willing to wait seven and a half years for your partner to get on board. But be aware that your partner needs to come to this in her own time. If she's not ready, pushing and pressuring her will not make her ready. Whatever she wants and needs to be okay with this, that's the price you have to pay for it. Maybe the price is too high. Maybe it's "cheaper" to stay monogamous. Maybe it's cheaper still to end that relationship. But in the end, each of you still has to pay what the other asks... so it's a good idea for both of you to really
know what that is before you sign on the dotted line.