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Old 07-27-2011, 01:34 AM
righthandwife righthandwife is offline
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Question facing fears, facing reality, need resources too...lol!

hi, i just joined the forum today although i have read various topics in it beginning in 2008 when my poly relationship started. though this is my first full fledged "poly" relationship (i put it in quotes because i'm not in a relationship per se with my partner's wife), i am not new to the idea. i have roots in a culture that widely recognizes and accepts polygyny so i never found it reprehensible...

in any case, currently, i am involved with a married man. we began our involvement in 2008 though we have known each other for over a decade. we have always been good friends and our friendship is the basis of our relationship. we have been through HILLS AND VALLEYS i tell you- the main issue being his wife. he grew up in a polygynous household and told his wife as much BEFORE he married her. he also was maintaining a full fledged relationship with one woman when he met the woman he would later marry. due to irreconcilable differences the first partner and he broke up and he married the second. now there's me. when he decided he wanted me to be his other wife, he informed me. i told him to discuss it with his wife. they did. long story short she agreed...and then changed her mind shortly thereafter (4 months). the problem was that he and i had already opened the "love chamber" to our relationship, which was built on more than a decade of friendship and we could not let go. you know-it was like there was something buried there all along right in front of us that we never knew was there...and once we uncovered it, it was life changing. as a result of this there has been a lot of strife in our relationship which is only now evening out. but all along the wife has tried to sabotage my relationship my partner with manipulation and dishonesty. i love my partner and i entered into the relationship with the intention of having a three way partnership wherein we all had two partners. she, having continually violated my trust and hurt my feelings, no longer qualifies and my focus is him...maybe later on down the line she and i can become more amicable...i don't know.

issues i am trying to work through include: can i ever have legal protection in this relationship and if so, how do i get it? what kinds of contracts do people sign to create "marriages" in the context of polyamory? how legally free is he to sign a contract with me if he's already legally married? how do i live openly as a person who is sharing a man? how do i "come out" as it were or at least move our relationship to one that is more open? how "safe" is it out there for poly people in committed relationships? what strategies do other people use? how can she and i have separate lives/relationships with him and still have it "work?" is there anyone else having this kind of relationship? i worry about future asset division and children and things of that sort and am looking for ways to address these fears as i move forward...i know these are a lot of questions and if people have no other answers than to point me towards other resources (particularly regarding legalities) i would appreciate it...thanks in advance!
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Old 07-27-2011, 03:21 AM
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Those are a lot of questions. You might want to do a tag search for "secondaries" (secondary merged thread comes to mind.. I can't remember its full name) "triads" and anything else that you can think of. You can do a tag search through the search engine.

You have no rights in marriage to this man if he is already legally married. I don't know where you live, but I can't think of any country that provides this kind of "protection" (What do you mean when you say that anyway?). That doesn't mean that countries don't exist though.

It sounds like your best bet is to keep at creating a relationship with her of friendship. There is no need to create a triad, but metamours getting along is pretty much essential. When she lies and manipulates, ask her what her intent is and call her on it by telling her how it makes you feel.

Really, the two of them are going to have to work it out for the most part. Keep providing them with your boundaries and listen to theirs until you come up with some agreement on how it will work. It all takes time and effort. Neither of you are entitled to him so get about occupying yourself with your own life and do your best to make it so he doesn't have to be the mediator between you and his wife. These would be my suggestions anyway.
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Old 07-27-2011, 03:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by righthandwife View Post
issues i am trying to work through include: can i ever have legal protection in this relationship and if so, how do i get it? what kinds of contracts do people sign to create "marriages" in the context of polyamory? how legally free is he to sign a contract with me if he's already legally married? how do i live openly as a person who is sharing a man? how do i "come out" as it were or at least move our relationship to one that is more open? how "safe" is it out there for poly people in committed relationships? what strategies do other people use? how can she and i have separate lives/relationships with him and still have it "work?" is there anyone else having this kind of relationship? i worry about future asset division and children and things of that sort and am looking for ways to address these fears as i move forward...
I have read that some poly folks do form corporations or LLCs as a way to have some sort of legal protection, though I don't know anything about it at all. I think I saw reference to it on the Polyamorous Percolations blog (http://polyamoryonline.org/).
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Old 07-27-2011, 09:14 AM
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Hi

Apart from saying you and your partner can't give each other up you haven't really said how he feels about the situation (i.e. his wife being so obviously unhappy). I think the happiness of his wife makes your position very precarious, especially if children are involved.

Polyamory is hard enough without animosity between metamours. Having said that I do know of a Vee relationship where there is no connection or friendship. The two women have their own residences and the guy, who is the hinge divides his time between the two of them as well as having his own house (although god knows when he has time to live in it). They do all live in different cities so there is no problem with 'coming out' as you put it. Each couple acts independently when together. They manage but struggle.
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Old 07-27-2011, 11:27 AM
righthandwife righthandwife is offline
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hello again all and thanks so much for your responses...

redpepper, there are actually plenty countries that recognize multiple marriage-usually polygynous-and offer legal protections to all wives but we live in the united states. when i say "legal protection" i am speaking of things like power of attorney and medical power of attorney, inheritance for my future children etc...

i agree that the most sensible and sane thing to do would have been to continue to try to create friendship with the wife but my past attempts were met with duplicity too many times to count-so i stopped attempting. i don't think she really cares how her behavior makes me feel. she's an underdeveloped leo who was living in and acting out of fear, insecurity and ownership...those things didn't really leave her much of a choice but to behave how she behaved so i chose to stop reaching out to her. i do, however, remain open to working with her with clear boundaries and limitations but she seems to have difficulty dealing with me if it means she can't control me or my relationship with my partner.

your points about continuing provide them with my "boundaries and listen to theirs" until we come up with an agreement on how it will work are so on point and words to a newly converted choir! for so long i was completely open about everything and oblivious to my own boundaries. watching and being hurt by her and sometimes his behavior has brought me to a healthy place of maintaining boundaries and keeping myself happy and well. your point about him being a "mediator between me and his wife." is also excellent and something i had to learn the hard way. i now only communicate with her...well with her! i also no longer discuss him with her and the funny thing is, with that being the case, she doesn't want to communicate as much...probably because these two boundaries make it harder for her to manipulate my feelings but whatever.

nycindie, thanks for the link. i too have heard of corporations and llc's. we have discussed those and are open to the possibilities...we just need more information on how it all works. i will continue to research the issue...your suggested link included...thanks again :-)

sage, you raise a good point about my not having mentioned how he feels. i didn't before because i was talking about myself but i guess his feelings are relevant too, lol! his wife's happiness was definitely important to him in the beginning, to the point where he constantly sacrificed my needs and general happiness for hers. he did this by severely limiting our time, putting her first in all things, consulting with her about time with me but not vice versa, even breaking things off with me for a year...etc. through it all, he has realized that she will not be satisfied with anything he presents that involves another partner-which is not acceptable to him since this was one of the conditions of their marriage. though it was difficult for me to be in and deal with, in hindsight, i feel like the whole process was necessary for him to see her true colors-i honestly do not believe that she is cut out for a multiple relationship...but he is and so am i, so she is the odd person out. she has to decide whether she is going to adapt or leave since he and i have tried it her way to no avail-even when we were broken up she wasn't happy because he loves me and even though he was willing to give me up in practice and function, he could not change his feelings-which wasn't enough for her. at the same time, he wasn't happy because he wasn't with me. he responded by telling her he wanted to reestablish a relationship with me. they came up with an agreement and he re-approached me. i accepted...and she tried to reneg...again. control seems to be one of her core issues. she seems to have difficulty grasping the idea that his and my relationship is not something she has domain over now that it's rolling. she really wants to be able to say who, what, when, how, where, and how much in my relationship which i think is crazy, particularly since i never agreed to that kind of set up and was always explicit about my intention to create a coming together of equals. he gave her a lot of say in the beginning and he got to see her abuse that say (much later than i did too), so neither one of us extends that privilege to her any longer. further, even if she were to suddenly start being fair and balanced in her behavior, i am no longer willing to invite her back into his and my space as someone with that level of power because i see it as imbalanced and beyond that, she would never reciprocate that invitation. at this point, he knows he loves me and wants to build a long term commitment with me that could involve children. he has also made peace with the possibility that she may leave given her discomfort at his lifestyle choice, a conclusion that i think was scary and difficult for him but also, i think in his eyes, necessary for his long term happiness. currently, there is much more balance in our relationship than before. he is learning how to be respectful to both of us without disrespecting the other (a development i would like to say i had a hand in...in the past, i always openly pointed out to him when i felt like he was being unfair to her). he is growing. i am growing...and i hope she is growing too, but i haven't spoken to her about it.

i hope this provides further insight...thank you again for your time and thoughtfulness in replying.

sincerely,
rightie :-)

Last edited by righthandwife; 07-27-2011 at 11:54 AM.
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Old 07-27-2011, 11:34 AM
righthandwife righthandwife is offline
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oh and sage, the relationship you described, though not my ideal, is something approaching what our relationship will be like. we will, however, live in the same city and have separate households. this is something i am comfortable with. in the beginning, i had a strong desire for a close relationship with the other woman and thought this was the only way it could work. i now feel like that is an ideal to aspire and/or work towards but not the only way it can go down. i don't think there is so much outright animosity now as there is relative indifference...which is an improvement, LOL! i have no desire to be at odds with her and if we can get to a point where we can function, if only from a "business" perspective (money management, picking up and dropping off kids and each other, grocery shopping, etc) i would be just fine...

Last edited by righthandwife; 07-27-2011 at 11:56 AM.
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Old 07-28-2011, 06:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by righthandwife View Post
redpepper, there are actually plenty countries that recognize multiple marriage-usually polygynous-and offer legal protections to all wives but we live in the united states. when i say "legal protection" i am speaking of things like power of attorney and medical power of attorney, inheritance for my future children etc...
I was thinking more in terms of polyamorous relationships where there is mixed gender unions or even women with male partners, whatever that's called, slipping my mind, its getting later. Ya, men with wives? I can think of some countries.
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