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Old 10-21-2012, 03:16 PM
nondy2 nondy2 is offline
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Default Advice on Sex parties and boundaries

Hi,

I am the perpetually confused one. I wrote awhile ago and I hope people can help again this time. i find the issue with being poly is it is so hard to get understanding.

So, my husband and I have been married 11 years, poly for three. I had one long-distance 2 yr affair and some flings. he has his first girlfriend. Last night, we went out with the GF and it came out that they had had sex in front of people at a sex party,. This is my own issue and I'm trying not to judge. I am really upset by sex parties because my best fr iend has been a gay sex meth addict for 15 years. It is really difficult for me to conceptualize that these parties are safe and innocent. My husband also lied to me and downplayed the party because he knew I'd be upset. So, he put me and his lover (who I must say is a lovely honest person) in an akward position.

Another issue is that I like his GF a lot. But I find her lifestyle immature (lives alone, not kids, no pets etc) and he says she would never let him move in. i AM being judgmental. This person is lovely so why would I care. The reason I care is because my husband is so passive and so forgetful, that I feel constantly burdened by running tho ngs- right or wrong- I feel like his girlfriend is another person who benefits by me 'running things" i.e. she never has to deal with his messes and all. BUT she is lovely. Just because she picked a different (easier?) life than me, doesn't mean I get to judge.

My husband's GF also has had sex parties at her house. My husband says he won't go to them anymore if they make me unfotable, but I'm just freaked out.
We are so different. I think I am very sexually conservative and very interested in intimacy without sex (I have many friends who I speak with everyday and we share the deepest parts of ourselves). My husband cannot relate to people in that was an his GF is his first truly close friend since our marriage. He is very sexual and wild and I think he can only be close through a sexual relationship.

I guess what I am asking is 1. Is it possible for two people who are so opposite to stay together? 2. Can I be more accepting of sex parities? Are they really more benign than I imagine? 3. How do I come to terms with not being jealous of the GF freedom?

Thanks!

I originally posted this in the wrong section.
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Old 10-21-2012, 04:45 PM
WhatHappened WhatHappened is offline
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Originally Posted by nondy2 View Post
Last night, we went out with the GF and it came out that they had had sex in front of people at a sex party,. This is my own issue and I'm trying not to judge. I am really upset by sex parties because my best fr iend has been a gay sex meth addict for 15 years. It is really difficult for me to conceptualize that these parties are safe and innocent. My husband also lied to me and downplayed the party because he knew I'd be upset. So, he put me and his lover (who I must say is a lovely honest person) in an akward position.
The lying on your husband's part is not acceptable. Doesn't feel good to be lied to, does it?

Quote:
Another issue is that I like his GF a lot. But I find her lifestyle immature (lives alone, not kids, no pets etc) and he says she would never let him move in. i AM being judgmental. This person is lovely so why would I care. The reason I care is because my husband is so passive and so forgetful, that I feel constantly burdened by running tho ngs- right or wrong- I feel like his girlfriend is another person who benefits by me 'running things" i.e. she never has to deal with his messes and all. BUT she is lovely. Just because she picked a different (easier?) life than me, doesn't mean I get to judge.
Yes, this is hard. I know someone whose life appears to me to be sheer hedonism, no thought to anything but her own pleasure (usually sexual). I guess my final conclusion is that I'm entitled to my opinion. Her life is entirely devoted to her own pleasure. I do believe that's wrong on several levels and will never lead to a truly strong character. I believe we have some moral obligations in this life to lift others up, too, not to just live for ourselves.

But I keep my mouth shut. I leave it to her to deal with her own life. I don't talk to other people about her life or what I think of how she lives it. I look at her background and have compassion for the reasons she chose as she did. I focus on the good in her life.


Quote:
I guess what I am asking is 1. Is it possible for two people who are so opposite to stay together? 2. Can I be more accepting of sex parities? Are they really more benign than I imagine? 3. How do I come to terms with not being jealous of the GF freedom?
1. Do you mean you and your husband? That depends on many things. My boyfriend and I are as opposite as we can be, to the point you'd hardly believe it if you read it in a book. But we respect each other. We see the good in each other. We don't try to change one another. I have to admit, as things have developed, and I've thought more deeply, I suspect I wouldn't be with him long-term if things never changed, but it would simply be a matter of, We're not a match, I'm not comfortable with this. And if you mean your husband, obviously, the ramifications of divorce are FAR greater than of me breaking up with my boyfriend. In a marriage, there must be compromise and give and take to make one another more comfortable and able to live with the differences.

2. I guess my question is why do you need to be more accepting of sex parties? If you don't like the idea, you don't. It was interesting to hear my boyfriend's view of sex parties recently when we talked about his life in that world. He sees them as a way of connecting with people on a deeper level, while acknowledging they are pure lust-satisfying orgies to others, that sometimes women are being pressured into going by their husbands, etc., and then it's not a good thing. So...I guess I'd say some are more 'benign' than others. It really depends who's going to them.

3. The secret to not being jealous is to be happy with your own life and character. I have struggled with the exact same thing, in regards to the person I referenced above. My life is staggeringly overloaded with responsibility, to the point I sometimes feel I'm on my knees pushing back at the mountain coming down and crushing me from above. It was very hard to see her living entirely carefree, her biggest worry whether her new sex toy would arrive on time for her sex party. (Okay, I'm being a little facetious there! Except in all honesty, that is about her biggest stress. She doesn't even need a job.) But when I faced myself honestly, I realized I LIKE the way I've chosen to live, I LIKE the fact that I work and support myself and am responsible and hard-working and sought after as a teacher and achieving my own victories in life. I LIKE my children and the satisfaction they give me. I LIKE my life, and I would choose it again...and again...and again.

I realized that if I could switch with her, I wouldn't. Not for anything. I wouldn't actually be happy in her life. I wouldn't be happy living as she does.

And when I read your question, I realized that that jealousy and frustration and even anger I once felt when I looked at her carefree life is entirely gone.

Best of luck to you. These are hard things to deal with.
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Old 10-21-2012, 05:59 PM
nondy2 nondy2 is offline
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Thanks. So I guess my question would be - do I need to allow my husband to go to sex parties and how do I deal with someone in our lives who has this as an important activity?

I thought your other post to me was brutal and I reacted strongly. I am sorry. I am curious where the ethical line is - in poly it seems anything goes if you don't LIE and I'm not sure I agree with that.

As far as my married friend - what would people this IS ethical? A friendship, just hand holding, no relationship at all? You said you admired the woman who was 23 and went away. But a 23 yr would not have marriage problems and not to have or give empathy. Is it entirely wrong in your eyes if we are just friends?

Also, you post seems to take all the agency out of a partner who is cheated on... I don't know about my friend, people lie! BitI my husband could not cheat on my because I am involved closely with him and constantly asking and communicating. Don't both parities have a responsibility? Perhaps my admirer IS happily married and just wants pussy. But what if he's right and she's distant and not attended - perhaps having an affair herself. Surely, this does not excuse his lying, but I believe affairs are more complex than a little ole unsuspecting wife getting injured.
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Old 10-21-2012, 06:33 PM
WhatHappened WhatHappened is offline
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Originally Posted by nondy2 View Post
Thanks. So I guess my question would be - do I need to allow my husband to go to sex parties and how do I deal with someone in our lives who has this as an important activity?
I don't personally think you need to allow your husband to do anything. It's your marriage, you have joint obligations to behave in ways that are acceptable to each other. I think if it's outside your comfort limits--especially considering any disease he picks up there may come straight back to you--you have every right to say so and have that as a hard limit.

How do you deal with her? To me, you don't. If you have a serious issue with your husband going to sex parties, you two need to make the agreement about that, and he either continues in which case you have a decision to make about your life with him, or he agrees to stop (and I think you said he has already) and he deals with her and tells her he's not doing this with her and she deals with herself (is she going to dump him over it, go to these parties alone, or go with someone else? Her choice, her problem.)


Quote:
I thought your other post to me was brutal and I reacted strongly. I am sorry. I am curious where the ethical line is - in poly it seems anything goes if you don't LIE and I'm not sure I agree with that.
I found your response quite evenly modulated. I can't speak for the ethical line in poly, as I am not of this world. I'm in full agreement with you that there's a whole lot more to ethics than just not lying.

I'd be interested to hear others' responses on this question.

Quote:
As far as my married friend - what would people this IS ethical? A friendship, just hand holding, no relationship at all? You said you admired the woman who was 23 and went away. But a 23 yr would not have marriage problems and not to have or give empathy. Is it entirely wrong in your eyes if we are just friends?
Honesty first and then let them work out their issues and decide what she is also comfortable with. I had an issue with 'just friends' because I was being lied to. (I still don't know which of the dozen (and that's only the dozen I know about, I'm sure there were more) were really 'just friends' and which he was physical with.) When there is deception and behind-the-back involved, it's an emotional affair.

Quote:
Also, you post seems to take all the agency out of a partner who is cheated on... I don't know about my friend, people lie! BitI my husband could not cheat on my because I am involved closely with him and constantly asking and communicating. Don't both parities have a responsibility? Perhaps my admirer IS happily married and just wants pussy. But what if he's right and she's distant and not attended - perhaps having an affair herself. Surely, this does not excuse his lying, but I believe affairs are more complex than a little ole unsuspecting wife getting injured.
I do find it a little bit of blame-the-victim to say (and I apologize if I'm shading your words differently than you intended) that it's someone's own fault if she's too stupid to figure out she's being lied to. My husband was a VERY good liar. He had his bases covered. Always had a reason. He could look me in the eye easily and lie. He was so kind and considerate in other ways. Also, and this is HUGE: I am honest. We all believe others are what we ourselves are. Because I was honest myself, I fully expected he was, too, and I wasn't looking for lies especially from a husband who was showering me with flowers and cards.

Also, I'm not saying this is the case at all in your friend's situation, but sometimes one spouse is distant because of what the other has been doing to them for years--criticisms, neglect, insults, disrespect.

Sometimes, (often) the stories of how unhappy they are at home are a load of bull which lead someone to feel okay about having an affair with them. Sometimes (in my Xh's case), they have a deep need for sympathy and attention. I don't pretend to know which of these or other possibilities are true in your friend's case.

I agree that affairs are more complex than little old unsuspecting wife. I could easily write books, plural, on the whys and wherefores and permutations; and the 'blame' ranges from entirely on the cheater to both screwed up all over the place to the betrayed spouse was neglectful and mean. On my infidelity board, some of the betrayed spouses acknowledge they were real shits to their spouses.

Still...I believe the answer is still honesty and facing the problems, the couple together. If his wife is a real shit to him, he needs to work this out with her, tell her it needs to stop, go to counseling himself or with her, divorce her if she absolutely refuses to be a decent and kind wife. To me, you sound torn about being involved in this. YOU will feel better if he's honest with her, if this all becomes above-board. YOU will be protecting yourself from drama, as other posters mentioned in the other thread.

Just a thought, but you also have kids. In my case, one of the girlfriends got angry about having her 'just friends' deal interrupted by the Big Bad Wife, and we had a rash of flattened and punctured tires. This is scary stuff. Bunny-boiler stuff. He nearly lost control on the highway FOUR TIMES when a tire blew at high speeds. What if I had been in the car with my children? What if I had lost control of the car? If there's one thing I CANNOT entirely get past, it's NOT what he did to me, but that he endangered our children, MY children.

Now, betrayed wives are equally capable, whether they're a completely innocent victim who never so much as swore before, or an evil bitch to begin with, of looking up the other woman (with the internet, it's very easy to do) and reacting in anger. This is the most extreme, but it's the kind of stuff people are talking about when they say they don't want to get mixed up in someone else's drama.

Affairs produce these kinds of extreme reactions in a certain percentage of cases. This is a fact.

You don't want yourself or your children exposed to the potential fallout of a marital affair.
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Old 10-21-2012, 06:42 PM
AutumnalTone AutumnalTone is offline
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Originally Posted by nondy2 View Post
Thanks. So I guess my question would be - do I need to allow my husband to go to sex parties and how do I deal with someone in our lives who has this as an important activity?
I'd say the most important thing to remember is that your husband doesn't need your permission to do anything--he's free to make his own choices at all times. I suspect a major component of the troubles you're having in dealing with this is a belief that he somehow needs your permission to do anything. Drop that dysfunctional belief and things get easier to handle.

What you can do is try to find out more details about the sex parties he attends and what those actually entail. That's how you begin to figure out how safely the party goers transact their business. You have concerns and you have a responsibility to address them in a reasonable fashion.

Once you have a good idea of how safe the party activities are, you may find your concerns lessened. Or heightened. It's at that point that you can make a cogent decision regarding your boundaries--what you'll accept and what you won't. Remember that you're not making decisions for him, just yourself.

As for dealing with her enjoying sex parties, well, that's your issue, entirely. She can enjoy what she wishes--doesn't require your permission. He can choose to get involved with whom he will--doesn't require your permission. You can voice your concerns and set out boundaries concerning you--don't ask you to attend, etc.--you just don't get to establish boundaries for him.

If he decides to continue to engage in things that you find highly objectionable, then you have the choice to continue in a relationship with him or not. That's what it always comes down to: We don't get to choose what our partners do, we only get to choose what we do.

Quote:
I thought your other post to me was brutal and I reacted strongly. I am sorry. I am curious where the ethical line is - in poly it seems anything goes if you don't LIE and I'm not sure I agree with that.
The honesty is what allows poly folk to decide what they will do; we all can only make choices based on what we know. While that does allow "anything goes," that's the exact same situation that happens in monogamous relationships. The difference is that much happens in mono relationships that isn't known by everybody and some end up without all the knowledge necessary to making the best choices for themselves.

Healthy relationships all require the consent of everybody involved. If you think that at any time you have a right to remove consent from the equation--deciding what your partners may or may not do--then you've stepped away from having a healthy relationship. Relationships are healthy only when everybody involved is freely choosing what they do and choosing to stay in the relationship.

I suspect that you're having problems facing the fact that you might need to leave the relationship if he chooses to do things you find unacceptable. I'll suggest that being open to the possibility of a relationship ending is an important part of being ready for one at the outset.
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Old 10-21-2012, 07:09 PM
nondy2 nondy2 is offline
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Whathappened.

You have given me a lot to think about. I respect you highly. I know that I am not going to be able to eradicate this person from my life- but I CAN and Will keep my distance and encourage him to tell his wife - I do have to say in his defense, we have only had sex once in four months, he's not just a horny dude! LOL. We both have conflicts about it. And I have examined many time how can I put my own needs over someone else's? That has seemed horrible to me, but hard to change.

Autmn - Allow was the wrong word. I am fully aware that I have to set my own boudaries and my husband is free to agree...or not. I do agree with WH that a life build on pleasure does not build character and keeps one a child, but again, it's not my place to pick whom my partner loves. It IS MY place not to have to clean everything, do childcare, and pay bills while my partner dances off with someone with no responsibilities.

THAT hmmmm is how the married guy and I connected, he also feels like he is the proactive one in that marriage (the adult?) and it's a burden we complain about together. But this has to be fixed between me and husband.
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Old 10-21-2012, 10:59 PM
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SchrodingersCat SchrodingersCat is offline
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Another issue is that I like his GF a lot. But I find her lifestyle immature (lives alone, not kids, no pets etc)
There's zero correlation between living alone with no kids or pets, and maturity. Many busy professionals live alone because they haven't had time to date or haven't found someone they like living with, or just plain prefer living alone. Same reason for having no kids. I don't see what pets could possibly have to do with maturity. I know lots of immature people with pets.

Calling someone immature for living alone with no kids or pets amounts to judging her by the standards you've set for your own life. "She's not like me, so she's immature."

For that matter, there are plenty of 16 year old parents who live with the father of their baby and two dogs. I would hardly call that a criteria for maturity.

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Originally Posted by nondy2 View Post
This person is lovely so why would I care. The reason I care is because my husband is so passive and so forgetful, that I feel constantly burdened by running tho ngs- right or wrong-
Your husband is not passive and forgetful because of his girlfriend. If he's not carrying his share of the household burdens, then address that with him within your marriage. It's got nothing to do with her.

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I feel like his girlfriend is another person who benefits by me 'running things" i.e. she never has to deal with his messes and all.
"Another person?" How many are there? Perhaps this is more your own issue than hers. If you're taking on more than your fair share, then it's your responsibility to address that within your own life. Possibly you have some codependency issues that could be addressed with some therapy.

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Originally Posted by nondy2 View Post
1. Is it possible for two people who are so opposite to stay together? 2. Can I be more accepting of sex parities? Are they really more benign than I imagine? 3. How do I come to terms with not being jealous of the GF freedom?
1. Yes. My husband and I are polar opposites on all kinds of superficial issues. He votes Conservative, I'm a card carrying member of the Socialist Party of Canada. He tries to keep up with the Jones', I think the Jones are idiots. But we complement each other very well on a lot of important issues, and most important, we love each other and are willing to take the time to work through our differences. All that other stuff just gives us great debate fodder.

We're also different on some pretty important issues. I'm polyamorous, he's monoamorous. He likes casual sex, I only have intimate sex inside of relationships. We make it work.

2. That's all up to you. If you make up your mind not to accept them, then no you can't. If you're willing to be more open-minded and consider them within current reality instead of fears based on past experiences, then yes you can. Some are more benign than you imagine, some are probably worse than you can dream up. Do you trust your husband? Do you think he would enjoy something "horrible?" Have you spoken to him about what he does at these parties?

I don't really understand why it matters whether they have sex in front of strangers, or just in her apartment alone. It doesn't affect their safety. It doesn't affect you, except for how you allow your mind to worry about it.

3. You've got things she doesn't have. Sure, you don't have freedom. But you have security, intimacy, commitment...

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Originally Posted by nondy2 View Post
I am NOT judging people who have sex parties. The make me uncomfortable and I don't want to be associated with them through my husband (I don't care what strangers do!) Why is this not an acceptable boundary?
It is, but you have to remember what a boundary means. It's something that you are not willing to put up with. But a boundary does not give you the right to tell someone else what they may and may not do. It only gives you the right to tell that person what your response will be if they do it. Even then, as we've been discussing in another thread, you have to be careful that it doesn't come to coersion: "Stop going to sex parties or I will leave you" is coersive.

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Originally Posted by nondy2 View Post
Also, has anyone on here been close to someone who is a meth/orgy/sex addict, just curious.
Meth, orgy, and sex are three distinct and separate addictions. The fact that your friend happened to be both a meth addict and an orgy addict does not mean that the one is caused by the other, or even related. I've been close friends with a meth addict who has since quit. My husband and girlfriend were both sex addicts in their youth, but got help before I met them.

But nothing in your post leads me to believe that either your husband or his girlfriend is a sex addict. They simply enjoy sex. They're exhibitionists, which means they like it when other people watch them have sex. If your husband is able to agree to stop going to the parties just like that, and stick to it, then he's not addicted to sex parties.
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Old 10-21-2012, 06:19 PM
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Yes, this is hard. I know someone whose life appears to me to be sheer hedonism, no thought to anything but her own pleasure (usually sexual). I guess my final conclusion is that I'm entitled to my opinion. Her life is entirely devoted to her own pleasure. I do believe that's wrong on several levels and will never lead to a truly strong character. I believe we have some moral obligations in this life to lift others up, too, not to just live for ourselves.
You have the responsibility to make sure they grow "strong character" according to your personal viewpoint? Someone is living a lifestyle of hedonistic enjoyment? They keep living their lives in the way they see fit and are having a good time? We've GOT to stop that from happening!! lol

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Originally Posted by WhatHappened View Post
I guess my question is why do you need to be more accepting of sex parties? If you don't like the idea, you don't.
This is exactly the issue in my opinion. People trying to police their fellows instead of living their own lives is the root of a lot of relationship drama.

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The secret to not being jealous is to be happy with your own life and character.
The only correct answer to these kinds of discussions. Live your life, stop trying to control the people around you. If you are secure and happy within your skin I guarantee you that how you view the actions of those around you will be less of a burden.
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Old 10-21-2012, 06:26 PM
nondy2 nondy2 is offline
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I am NOT judging people who have sex parties. The make me uncomfortable and I don't want to be associated with them through my husband (I don't care what strangers do!) Why is this not an acceptable boundary?

Also, has anyone on here been close to someone who is a meth/orgy/sex addict, just curious.
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Old 10-21-2012, 06:37 PM
WhatHappened WhatHappened is offline
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I am NOT judging people who have sex parties. The make me uncomfortable and I don't want to be associated with them through my husband (I don't care what strangers do!) Why is this not an acceptable boundary?

Also, has anyone on here been close to someone who is a meth/orgy/sex addict, just curious.
I agree. It IS an acceptable boundary. You have every right to not be comfortable with this and even more right not to be associated with them via your husband.
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