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  #1  
Old 07-16-2012, 01:29 PM
aj22 aj22 is offline
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Default How to tell husband I'm a bit more poly than anticipated?

Hi all,

This is my first time posting and I'm looking for a little advice on what to do about a poly situation I've accidentally found myself in.

My husband an I have been together 9 years, married 7 and are 26. A year or so ago we started discussing the idea of sleeping with other people. Together, in a more "swinging" sort of situation at first. My husband has a bit of a sexual jealousy fetish so we started with threesomes with another male. But we found that we liked it just as much me going off on my own and telling him about it later. And decided to have an sexually open relationship. We (or rather I, he hasn't slept with anyone else) did this for a few months, enjoyed it, and then life got busy. I also found that casual sex with basically what amounted to strangers didn't have as much appeal to me as I thought it would.

Fast forward a bit and my husband agreed that I could sleep with my best friend, which he previously wasn't comfortable with. My friend is poly and ideally would be in a completely mutual triad (I'm not sure of the proper terminology here but a totally equal 3 way relationship) with his long time significant other and another female. I'm very close with him and spend lots of time with him, so having him be my sexual partner was ideal on many levels. My husband likes to hear about the sex, and is interested in the friendship in the way he would be in any of my friendships, as to say, not all that much. After months of this set up I have come to the realization that I somehow am accidentally dating this wonderful couple, mostly just him, but her on a sexual level. I sleep with them, both literally and figuratively and we've become very important parts of each others lives and I care very deeply for them. My husband often makes references to the idea that he isn't the type who could be with someone who loves two people. I'm not a romantic person, I don't think that "love" between romantic partners is any different than that between close friends, so this designation doesn't make a lot of difference to me. I don't know if I should confront him on the topic and tell him that yes I do feel a similar way toward my friend, and to some extent his long time girlfriend as I do for my husband. I don't want anything to change, yet at the same time we are in the process of some life changes and transitions and I feel like he either needs to accept this or not before those are made. I don't think I can go back to the idea of a purely emotionally monogamous relationship, even if that involves pure sex acts with other people. I think given time he'll come to just see the stability of the situation, accept it, and be fine with it, yet whenever the topic gets brought up I tend to shy away from admitting to anything other than friendship with a sexual component. Which honestly to me is exactly what any "romantic" relationship really is. I just don't get this idea of a separation, yet I realize that what I am with my friend qualifies under the dating/relationship heading regardless.

I suppose what I'm looking for here is general thoughts and comments on the situation, and whether a discussion on the topic is actually of any value, or if I should just continue living life as is and appeasing my husband by telling him that no, my relationship with my friend is not a dating style relationship and he is the only significant other in my life, regardless of the fact that I am in a very polyamorous relationship with them (and to be more specific, based on my understanding of your glossary terms it would be a V where my guy friend is the hinge). I should add that I have no interest in leaving my husband or making any real changes in my life at all. The couple are basically happy with the set up (I'm sure they'd be happier if I wasn't with him, but they accept as a part of me) and I don't see any reason to change what I find to be a stable set-up. My friend and husband are very different and fulfill different places in my life and I'm happy with that.
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Old 07-16-2012, 01:57 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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So are you basically saying that if you told your husband you have strong feelings for your best friend and his GF that your husband would wig out?

But if you say nothing everyone is fine with the status quo except you who wants to let these feelings air out somehwere?

GG
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Old 07-16-2012, 02:07 PM
aj22 aj22 is offline
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Eh slightly more complicated than that. I actually don't want to air any of this to him. Its more an issue of, do I owe it to him to let him decide if he's ok with me being in what is very quickly becoming an actual relationship with someone else. He confronts me about the friendships and asks if "I love him". He occasionally alludes to the fact that he can pull back on the whole allowing me to be with anyone else sexually at any time for any reason. Which at this point in life I won't go back to. So my quandary becomes, do I tell him and let him make this decision before life changes like buying a house, changing careers, ect.... or do I wait till he sees it himself, could be more accepting of it, could not be, but he will have already made those decisions based on me. If it weren't for that, I'd be content to just let things play out and see what happens. It feels a little like cheating to me, but I will take that on myself before airing it and possibly hurting someone. The fact that he still thinks that this is a negotiable set up, and that he isn't ok with the idea of being with someone who is truly poly and not just in it for the sex is what concerns me.
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  #4  
Old 07-16-2012, 02:08 PM
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CielDuMatin CielDuMatin is offline
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Hi there - thanks for telling your story - you asked for comments - here goes.

Twice you mentioned the word "accidentally" when you talk about getting into the relationship with the other couple. I need to sort of take you to task with this, because it was far from accidental. You made conscious decisions to take certain actions and to so certain things. Those are not accidents. it may not have been something that you originally planned, but calling it an "accident" can sound a little like not taking responsibility for what has been going on, and I really think that you need to own it.

How much trust do you want your husband to have for you? For me (and others may differ) having a solid trust in my relationships is the keystone of them - without trust, the whole thing falls down very quickly, or you expend a ton of energy just to keep it up. Sharing how you feel with your husband, and dealing with that should be part of owning things, and taking responsibility. You say you don't want things to change, but right now you are in a position where you sound uncomfortable not telling your husband everything, so it sounds like you DO what some things to change.

I am a big believer in telling the truth to those we have made a commitment to and working through issues that come up as a consequence.

Oh and when it comes to terminology, you are in what is called a "W" - you are one of the "hinges", since you have two relationships.
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Old 07-16-2012, 02:34 PM
aj22 aj22 is offline
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Yes all comments are super helpful. I'm not doing the standard forum, ask for one hard and straight answer and then ignore it completely. A collection of thoughts from those more experienced than I for me to mull over and fit into my personal situation is all I'm really looking for. And calling me out on things goes completely along with that.

I can certainly see what you mean by the wrong use of accidental. I really just meant that I didn't go looking for it it just happened. However, I let it and I'm actually ok with that. I will take full ownership of that. I saw where it was going and let it go there and I have no regrets about it.

The problem is how do I balance trust with my husband's feelings. Especially since so long as I am careful with time management he will trust me completely regardless of whether that is deserved. He isn't as openminded about socially non-conforming situations as I am. If he had a similar personality and beliefset to me I'd certainly tell him. I'm not sure at the moment he can grasp the idea of having multiple partners in this way. I think he could in the future though given some time to be introduced to it more fully at a very slow pace. There is actually a huge part of me that wonders if I only want to tell him to assuage my own guilt. People do that cheating situations and one night stands all the time, and both of us have agreed that such things are stupid and meant more to make the guilty party feel better than for reasons of true honesty. I'm not sure if my situation is any different. Except I suppose that it is ongoing and long term.

Thank you for the correction in terminology, I'd seen that somewhere, but wasn't sure if it applied since my husband and friend are not at all involved with each other and the V notation seemed to apply that all three parties were involved with each other a bit, it seems I was perhaps misunderstanding the V notation.
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Old 07-16-2012, 02:43 PM
km34 km34 is offline
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I personally would want to be told. You're basically changing the rules of the relationship without informing him of it which isn't fair to him at all. He has the right to decide what kind of relationship he wants to be in, and if that doesn't match up with what you want/need then he has the right to walk away and find it elsewhere.

In situations such as these, I find withholding information to have the same consequences at out-and-out lying about it. You let him keep believing it's just sex/FWB while actually having a more real relationship going on, and when he finds out he is going to feel betrayed. You tell him, he gets upset at first, but eventually calms down to make a decision about what he finds okay and what he absolutely can't handle and you may have a rough patch but a complete loss of trust isn't likely. Which is easier to deal with? Usually option #2.

You want to balance trust and your husband's feelings? How is he going to FEEL when his TRUST in you is proven false? Dealing with the issue now has got to be easier than dealing with this issue, his feeling of being betrayed, AND the need to rebuild trust later.
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Old 07-16-2012, 03:03 PM
aj22 aj22 is offline
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So to change the question a bit then, any suggestions on how to begin such a conversation, to help him understand how this is an ok situation and that I don't want to leave him and I still want him to be my husband? How to soften the blow I suppose is what I'm asking. He's not very aware of the poly lifestyles and his only introduction to it has been my discussions of my friend and his gf dating females.
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  #8  
Old 07-16-2012, 03:07 PM
sparklepop sparklepop is offline
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Hi

This is an interesting thread.

I understand what you are saying. Essentially, in your mind, you know how things stand. You know what your husband means and you know what your friend and his girlfriend mean to you. You know their places in your life.

You are concerned that if you tell your husband all of your true feelings, he might freak out, panic, see it as more threatening than it is and try to put an end to the situation. Do you rock the boat and risk losing one of these things that you enjoy.... or do you keep quiet, with everything you enjoy, unable to fully enjoy it out in the open?

So you're probably thinking that you don't want to cause him undue stress... if they are not a threat to your marriage and he keeps believing they're not a threat... why rock the boat?

I believe in a bit of an abstract concept, which is 'reality vs perception'.

I'll use myself as an example. I have a primary girlfriend. I have a casual, secondary girl that I'm sleeping with/friends with. The reality is, I love my girlfriend, I do not love my friend in the same way. My girlfriend's perception is the same as the reality. And she's mostly unthreatened.

Now, let's say I tell my girlfriend that I think about my friend sometimes when I wake up, that I smile when she texts, that we connect in a spiritual way. She might freak out and her perception could start to become removed from reality. She might think I'm fully in love with this girl. I'm not - so why would I want to cause undue stress? So I choose what I say to my girlfriend carefully.

In a situation like that, I am not completely honest because I know that dilvuging every little thought in my head will lead to a silly situation that is not the reality. I don't think there's anything wrong with a little discretion for the greater good.

However, if I was starting to want a deeper relationship with this girl, I'd have to tell my girlfriend. It wouldn't be right for my girlfriend to be happily moseying along whilst I am harboring deeper, secret feelings. My girlfriend has worked hard to overcome insecurity and be secure about my friendship with this girl. What a fool I would make of her if she found out that her suspicions were right all along. Furthermore, if I didn't tell her, I'd be taking away some of her rights in our relationship. For example - what if her line is: "I don't want you to have a second primary girlfriend". If that's her line, I can't just keep crossing it secretly. She has a right to put her expectations out there and see if they are still compatible with my wants.

In your situation, you want something. You'd be really happy if you could have that. How can you get it if you don't ask for it? You can't. Instead, you have a 'lite' version of what you want. Essentially, you've got all the components of what you want... but you can't fully enjoy it, because it's not out in the open.

Kind of like drinking champagne. Knocking back a $50 glass secretly in the kitchen of someone's party can be thrilling, but not completely satisfying. Slowly indulging in it, out in the open, because the host of the party has said they are happy for you to drink it, would feel so much better. If the host doesn't want you to drink the champagne... you can always leave the party and buy your own bottle to enjoy at your leisure.

By that, I mean, if your husband isn't happy with what you want... you do not have to stay in the relationship with your husband. Drastic, yes. But you do have to think about what you want and what works for you. As much as you need to be compassionate in relationships, this is still your life and you must chase those rainbows that fulfill you. The only thing anyone owes to a person they are in a relationship with is respect and consideration - they are not obligated to obey them.

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Ah, posted this before I saw your update.

I've babbled enough, so I won't go on and on. But the best way, in my opinion, would be to sit him down, just spit it all out, tell him how important he is to you, make him aware of the reality of your feelings, for him, for your friend, give him all the reassurance he needs, be compassionate and kind to him.... then let him chew on it.... only he can decide whether or not he can deal with it...
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Last edited by sparklepop; 07-16-2012 at 03:11 PM.
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Old 07-16-2012, 04:34 PM
aj22 aj22 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sparklepop View Post
So you're probably thinking that you don't want to cause him undue stress... if they are not a threat to your marriage and he keeps believing they're not a threat... why rock the boat?
Yes thats actually a perfect summary of my issue.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sparklepop View Post
In a situation like that, I am not completely honest because I know that dilvuging every little thought in my head will lead to a silly situation that is not the reality. I don't think there's anything wrong with a little discretion for the greater good.

However, if I was starting to want a deeper relationship with this girl, I'd have to tell my girlfriend. It wouldn't be right for my girlfriend to be happily moseying along whilst I am harboring deeper, secret feelings. My girlfriend has worked hard to overcome insecurity and be secure about my friendship with this girl. What a fool I would make of her if she found out that her suspicions were right all along. Furthermore, if I didn't tell her, I'd be taking away some of her rights in our relationship. For example - what if her line is: "I don't want you to have a second primary girlfriend". If that's her line, I can't just keep crossing it secretly. She has a right to put her expectations out there and see if they are still compatible with my wants.
This makes a lot of sense to me actually. And makes me go back to the idea that in this case some discretion is probably worthwhile. Or at least holding off a bit until the topic resurfaces on its own where I can use the ideas of multiple relationships as a way of comforting his insecurities rather than bringing up new ones. I'm not exactly capable of deep intense romantic relationships, and that isn't what this is at all, its just more of an actual relationship than a FWB scenario, but the line is a bit of a technicality. There's still a lot of working out in my head to be done about it all.
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Old 07-16-2012, 04:35 PM
aj22 aj22 is offline
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Thank you for the links, I will certainly go through those at length as I try and figure out how to bring this up in the least destructive way possible.
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