Polyamory.com Forum  

Go Back   Polyamory.com Forum > Polyamory > Poly Relationships Corner

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 01-20-2010, 04:53 PM
MrMom MrMom is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Rural MN
Posts: 10
Default Polyamory as an excuse?

First off, if any of my questions are not appropriate or not within the focus of this community (i.e. more for a counselor than a bunch of strangers on the internet) I apologize and feel free to move on.

My wife just told me she's been having an affair for a while with another man. She blames this on needing to find something that's been lacking in our relationship. She want to be able to continue seeing this person and move our relationship into polyamory.

Here's my concern: I told her that with some time I may consider an open marriage to a degree, but that I'm not comfortable with the person she's with. She says that she doesn't want to be with anyone else besides him (and me). Is she just using polyamory and the concept of an open marriage as a tool to enable her to stay with this person and not destroy our family? I feel as if she's not really interested in polyamory if she can't have this one particular individual.

Thanks for any advice. I do respect the concept and I respect those living it for being able to overcome the things that I'm struggling with.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 01-20-2010, 05:05 PM
Derbylicious's Avatar
Derbylicious Derbylicious is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Victoria BC
Posts: 1,603
Default

I think out of respect for you she might want to consider taking a break from this other man while you work through the trust issues that she has brought up in your relationship. It's not fair to come to someone and tell them that you have been lying to them for however long but that you're unwilling to change anything to help rebuild that lost trust.

What makes you uncomfortable about this other man? Is it just that she has been having an affair with him? Poly requires a lot of communication. You both need to talk about what you need and how you feel. It's not about someone having their cake and eating it too while anyone else involved stays quiet, regardless of how they feel.

Hope that helps a little

-Derby
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 01-20-2010, 05:22 PM
Ceoli Ceoli is offline
Banned
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: London, UK
Posts: 900
Default

People explore polyamorous relationships for a variety of reasons so it's difficult to say what's an excuse and what isn't. It's not uncommon for people to arrive at open relationships or polyamory through some act of cheating. Sometimes it works out with a lot of work, other times it doesn't.

For what it's worth, I don't choose additional relationships because of things that might be "missing" or "lacking" in one relationship. Every relationship is whole for me and I wouldn't be getting into any relationship that was great in some ways but lacking in others. I find most poly relationships thrive if each relationship is whole and healthy. It would probably be a good idea to address that first.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 01-20-2010, 05:42 PM
CielDuMatin's Avatar
CielDuMatin CielDuMatin is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Upstate New York, USA
Posts: 1,456
Default

I just posted on your intro thread - didn't realise that this was here.

How many times have you heard the old one about "marriage broken - let's have kids - that'll fix it!" and you just know that it's not really going to fix anything.

A similar saying goes for poly "marriage in trouble - add more people - that'll fix it!" - it doesn't apply either.

When trust isn't there... when someone is doing it because they can't "get what they need at home" those are not bases for good, stable polyamorous relationships, but recipes fo on-going drama.

Most people that come to poly this way (and I am one of them) really need to realise that the cheater has done something to damage the original relationship and that this has to be repaired before anything polyamorous is considered (and no, I didn't do that either, and paid the price for it).

The big thing is that in any loving relationship, trusting each other is vital. if that isn't there, then poly is going to be a very hard, or impossible slog.
__________________
Please check out The Birdcage - an open, friendly Polyamory forum for all parts of New York State
http://www.thebirdcage.org/

"Listen, or your tongue will make you deaf." - Native American Proverb
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 01-20-2010, 06:00 PM
MrMom MrMom is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Rural MN
Posts: 10
Default

Some more info on my situation...

I've been reading some books that my wife has purchased, such as "Open" and "The Marriage Makeover". I'm honestly still on the fence about an open marriage and have certainly not ruled it out. But the way I see her relationship with this other man is that they were college boyfriend/girlfriend. She transferred to another school and they broke up. That was well over 15 years ago. Now they've reconnected (yeah, thanks alot stupid facebook) and I find out that he's not had another real woman in his life since my wife, and he's never gotten over her. From what I've seen, they are in love with each other, and she wants to carry on this relationship via an open marriage. I might be ok with us involving others in our sex life, but I don't think I'm OK with her having a separate life-partner where if I was out of the picture they'd probably end up getting married and having a monogamous life.

Is this a normal reaction on my behalf? Are there different levels of open marriage, as set by the rules that I keep reading must be set? What if either my wife or I don't like the third person?
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 01-20-2010, 06:06 PM
CielDuMatin's Avatar
CielDuMatin CielDuMatin is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Upstate New York, USA
Posts: 1,456
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrMom View Post
I don't think I'm OK with her having a separate life-partner where if I was out of the picture they'd probably end up getting married and having a monogamous life.
Has she actually said this to you, or is this something that you are inferring from her actions?
__________________
Please check out The Birdcage - an open, friendly Polyamory forum for all parts of New York State
http://www.thebirdcage.org/

"Listen, or your tongue will make you deaf." - Native American Proverb
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 01-20-2010, 06:11 PM
GroundedSpirit GroundedSpirit is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: New England USA
Posts: 1,231
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrMom View Post
From what I've seen, they are in love with each other, and she wants to carry on this relationship via an open marriage. I might be ok with us involving others in our sex life, but I don't think I'm OK with her having a separate life-partner where if I was out of the picture they'd probably end up getting married and having a monogamous life.

Is this a normal reaction on my behalf? Are there different levels of open marriage, as set by the rules that I keep reading must be set? What if either my wife or I don't like the third person?
Is it normal ? ABSOLUTELY ! It's the culture we are raised in. Prior to this - did you have any real understanding of the concept of 'polyamory' ? Probably not.

Big question............

Do YOU love HER ???????
REALLY love her ?

If you answer 'yes' - then the next logical question would be "how can (or should) I deny her something that is positive in her life and does no harm to anyone else (other than maybe my own ego) ? Is that an expression of love ? This of course assumes that any 3rd (or more) person is in fact a decent, clean, trustworthy etc person.

Sorry if that seems blunt but that's the question I had to ask myself some looonnnnggggggggg time back.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 01-22-2010, 12:15 AM
LovingRadiance's Avatar
LovingRadiance LovingRadiance is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Alaska
Posts: 5,290
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrMom View Post
Some more info on my situation...

I've been reading some books that my wife has purchased, such as "Open" and "The Marriage Makeover". I'm honestly still on the fence about an open marriage and have certainly not ruled it out. But the way I see her relationship with this other man is that they were college boyfriend/girlfriend. She transferred to another school and they broke up. That was well over 15 years ago. Now they've reconnected (yeah, thanks alot stupid facebook) and I find out that he's not had another real woman in his life since my wife, and he's never gotten over her. From what I've seen, they are in love with each other, and she wants to carry on this relationship via an open marriage. I might be ok with us involving others in our sex life, but I don't think I'm OK with her having a separate life-partner where if I was out of the picture they'd probably end up getting married and having a monogamous life.

Is this a normal reaction on my behalf? Are there different levels of open marriage, as set by the rules that I keep reading must be set? What if either my wife or I don't like the third person?
yes your reaction is normal.
BUT-hers may be as well.
I am a polyamorous woman. I was born poly. I can honestly tell you that in my whole life I've always FELT love deeply with more than one person.
I kept it a secret because I was raised in a strict christian home and thought that I was "flawed".
I married my husband (maca is his login if you search it you can read his version).
I love him deeply and would do damn near to anything for him.
Including try my damnest to be a "good wife" as defined by the church and most of society.
BUT-I couldn't STOP my heart.
I also love my best friend (GG is his log in and he's rarely on here).
I had an affair.
Lots of drama etc.

I "came out" poly in September and sat down with maca.
The bottom line for me is that I AM inlove with BOTH of them, not some random "fuck". So it would be POINTLESS for Maca to "agree to an open marriage if I only fucked someone else".
First of all-it wouldn't change that I AM IN LOVE WITH GG ALSO. What it would do is create an atmosphere where I was again supposed to suppress that and pretend to be something I'm not for my husbands comfort.
Second of all-it wouldn't operate because I'm not interested in sleeping around. I'm interested in HONESTLY being MYSELF with my husband.
In order to TRULY be me-he has to accept ME for who I REALLY am.
Who I really am IS TRULY DEEPLY committed to him and in love with him and happy being with him
AND
TRULY DEEPLY committed to GG and in love with GG and happy being with GG.

That said-no one here knows your wife-so we can't say that SHE struggled through a mess like this one I did. She may have (certainly not unusual) or she may be using poly as an excuse.
ONLY deep, open, non-confrontational, accepting conversation is going to figure that out.

I do wish you luck. I know it's painful to deal with an affair and it's difficult to decide to change a major dynamic in a relationship. Together can be hell.

The good news is that it CAN be done.

Feel free to PM myself or Maca if you would like to talk.
God knows we've been there before, but coming out has been well worth it. EVEN if we divorced now (not happening, just saying) what we have each learned about ourselves, our needs, our requirements in relationships..... just not replaceable. I truly don't know how we managed at all before.

*fyi-we are 34 and 38 yrs old. So we do grasp the highschool thing. GG and I have been friends since he was 17 (he's 33 now).
__________________
"Love As Thou Wilt"
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 01-21-2010, 12:25 AM
River's Avatar
River River is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: NM, USA
Posts: 1,894
Default

I'm in agreement with those who say the wife should be willing to put this other relationship on hold (at least) until the trust and cheating stuff has been worked with and through.

On another point very different...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ceoli View Post
For what it's worth, I don't choose additional relationships because of things that might be "missing" or "lacking" in one relationship. Every relationship is whole for me and I wouldn't be getting into any relationship that was great in some ways but lacking in others. I find most poly relationships thrive if each relationship is whole and healthy. It would probably be a good idea to address that first.
What Ceoli says here is a nice ideal to shoot for, and it's worthy of much respect, but I would add that I think (my opinion) that very few people compliment one another in a totally complete sort of way. Most very good relationships, good and healthy relationships, involve and include both (or all three or four...) feeling as if there is some less than perfect connection or complementarity. As a good friend put it to me, we all have to do some "putting up with" in our relationships. Ideals make good targets, but are seldom realized in space and time (a.k.a., "the real world").

I love my partner tremendously, but there are ways we don't connect perfectly; we have our issues and troubles; but we love one another and -- yes our relationship is whole. But maybe he or I could meet some of our needs for intimacy, in part, by allowing others into the picture? I don't think that's a bad thing. I don't think it makes our love for one another less whole if we recognize that we're not a "perfect fit/match", that we're different, that our needs are slightly off-kilter because of our differences....

Last edited by River; 01-21-2010 at 12:27 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 01-21-2010, 12:32 AM
Ceoli Ceoli is offline
Banned
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: London, UK
Posts: 900
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by River View Post
What Ceoli says here is a nice ideal to shoot for, and it's worthy of much respect, but I would add that I think (my opinion) that very few people compliment one another in a totally complete sort of way. Most very good relationships, good and healthy relationships, involve and include both (or all three or four...) feeling as if there is some less than perfect connection or complementarity. As a good friend put it to me, we all have to do some "putting up with" in our relationships. Ideals make good targets, but are seldom realized in space and time (a.k.a., "the real world").
I'm not saying that things that people "put up with" don't exist in ideal relationships, but those things are not what make or break a relationship. However, I don't go seeking relationships based upon what is lacking in what relationships I might already have. I seek relationships with people, not with qualities that might be missing in one partner but evident in another so that when you combine them, I get to have all the qualities I want.

I choose to have relationships based upon the person and that's it. And if they as a person don't contain the qualities I need for a thriving and healthy relationship in and of itself and regardless of what other relationships I have, I don't have a relationship with them. I don't take part of one and part of another. So far, having experienced this in real time and "the real world", it seems an entirely reasonable and not idealistic thing at all.

Last edited by Ceoli; 01-21-2010 at 12:35 AM.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
cheating, control, open marriage, open relationship, trust

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 01:29 PM.