I haven't had much luck finding posts that deal with the problems a single person faces in dealing with the boundaries and rules that are encountered in pursuing a relationship with a married person; one that is in the initial stages of slowly opening up their marriage.
I'm in a relationship with a married woman. Like many on the board, this started "backwards." We fell in love, shared our feelings for each other, and then she started the difficult work of opening her marriage.
Eight months later, her and I have a regular date night once a week. The three of us are learning to get comfortable with each other's presence, and enjoy spending time together. We ate dinner together tonight, and we're planning a BBQ this Saturday. The poly "familial bubble" is starting to expand. We enrich each other's lives.
However the boundaries are starting to chafe and wear on me. While we do spend time alone together, the current rules limit us to holding hands and hugging.
I've read Franklin Veaux's "Secondary's Guide" http://www.xeromag.com/fvsecondary.html
It's helpful, but misses the mark in providing concrete tools for dealing with the host of raw emotions that arise. And while these are horrible feelings, I also firmly believe that they can be powerful catalysts for personal growth. Some are dealt with introspection and letting time pass. I also try to put myself in everyone’s shoes, and strive to find joy in her relationship with her husband.
What I'm currently dealing with is envy for the physical intimacy they share, things her and I can't have. This leads to anger and depression on my part. I seek to avoid growing resentful of her or the situation by humbly reminding myself of the enormous risks she has taken and for the gifts that her husband has given us. I cherish this woman, am amazed at the connection we share, and marvel at how far we have traveled.
She's going to talk with her husband about re-evaluating our boundaries next month. Part of me is elated at the prospect of being able to communicate and sharing my love for her in a more physical manner. But the other part wonders, won't the pain and anguish I feel just get moved to another boundary (oh yes, you can kiss her, but don't touch her here or there).
Are there other secondaries on the forum that have experienced a similar situation? How do you deal with the feelings and keep the relationship healthy?
Peace and kindness,