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Old 08-30-2010, 04:39 AM
BstiNatosi BstiNatosi is offline
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Default It's Always Complicated

Hello everyone, brand new here. I've read through some of the posts, as I am also new to the idea of my wife loving another man while still loving me, and the most resonant post was the one from Pie. His story is so similar to mine.

My wife of almost 10 years has been visiting an old male friend in another state off and on for years now, and just recently revealed that she has strong emotional feelings for him that could lead to a physical relationship. Needless to say, I was shocked and hurt. She says she still loves me, that I will always be "the primary", that she loves and wants to retain the life we've built together, but doesn't want to be bound to the definition of "just friends" with him when she visits. She wants it to be open to whatever might happen between them.

Although she says she loves me dearly, this is non-negotiable. She feels that she has a right to do as she pleases as an individual, but of course doesn't want to hurt me in the process, which is why I am being given this information at all. She didn't HAVE to tell me, but love and respects me enough to do so.

Although they would, of course, take it very slow so that I can acclimate, it's GOING TO HAPPEN somewhere down the road.

Like Pie, I was told that I would be free to date if I so wished, because "it's only fair". But she would prefer that I didn't because "it would complicate our lives even further".
These notions seem antithetical to what I know Polyamory to be. I don't want to be poly, and she doesn't exactly consider herself poly, she just wants to be with this one man. But she keeps sending me articles about Polyamory and how jealousy is merely an irrational fear based on one's own insecurities.
That the act of your partner having sex with another is natural, practiced in most cultures, and does not deter from the love or intimacy of the primary partnership.
She also says that, eventually, I will see the benefits of this for ME, but I fail to see HOW.
How does her having sex with another man benefit me? I can see how it would benefit her, and I get the whole compersion notion, though I don't know if and how I could get to place like that.

Please understand that I don't want to be selfish and look for a "benefit".
I don't want this to happen at all, but there's nothing I can do about it and I fully intend to stay with my wife, through thick and thin. She reassures me every day since that nothing will change in our lives, but it already has.

Her honesty I do appreciate. And for the most part, I do trust her words.
But nobody can predict the future. No one can say the grass will always be greener at home.

So here I am, at a crossroads. I am put into a position where I must understand and accept the inevitable, with love. I am to be happy for her, as having sex with another man will...bring us closer together?

And here I am, attempting just that. Dealing with thoughts that her sex life will forever change OUR sex life, for her being that intimate with someone else, all that entails, then to be with me will be.....awkward at best.

I think I'm okay with her having strong emotional feelings for him. She's known him a long time. I don't know him at all. I'm even okay if they kiss passionately, as they already have. It's the sex part I can't get past.

So, anyone who has been in this position, I'd really appreciate any thoughts on how I can learn to cope with this and still have a healthy sexual relationship with my wife.
I really do want what's best for her. This is not a tryst. This is a long standing crush that "must" eventually be realized for her.
I understand that love is not a limited resource, but sex, to me, is not something to be shared when you've married based on an implied agreement.
THANK YOU.
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Old 08-30-2010, 04:55 AM
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Hey, welcome. I'm sorry that you're going through a tough time. There's a lot of information here and stories that you might find helpful. Polyamory can be done in many different ways but one thing that seems to define it is communication and consent between all parties. You sound like you are not comfortable with your wife have a sexual relationship with another man. And that's ok. It is important to respect how everyone in the situation feels and where their boundaries are. I'm currently seeing a married man and we don't have sex because his wife doesn't feel comfortable with that right now. Maybe never, maybe later, who knows? It's hard for me to imagine him demanding that she allow us to sleep together. I don't think it would go over well. The important thing is not what your rules are but that you all feel comfortable with them. If you decide that you want to try and feel more comfortable with it, xeromag.com has some good articles that helped me as I'm fairly new to all of this myself.
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Old 08-30-2010, 05:20 AM
AutumnalTone AutumnalTone is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BstiNatosi View Post
Like Pie, I was told that I would be free to date if I so wished, because "it's only fair". But she would prefer that I didn't because "it would complicate our lives even further".
....
But she keeps sending me articles about Polyamory and how jealousy is merely an irrational fear based on one's own insecurities.
I'm so sorry, man. It appears to me that she's simply trying to manipulate you into letting her have a lover without any true intention to move to a poly relationship. That she's announced she will have a lover whether you agree or not is very telling.

Were it me, I'd leave. I don't tolerate game playing of any sort, and she's playing in very ham-handed fashion. Polyamory is about negotiating what is needed and desired, not dictating to partners that it's going to happen without regard to their needs and desires--there's a required ethical component to polyamory.
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Old 08-30-2010, 05:37 AM
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MonoVCPHG MonoVCPHG is offline
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Default This is going to happen ranting time

Quote:
Originally Posted by BstiNatosi View Post
Although she says she loves me dearly, this is non-negotiable.

I'll apologize for ranting on your post now but here goes!


Just because a partner tells you they are going to pursue a relationship with another person does not make it anything better than cheating if you are not ok with it. If I tell the bank teller I'm going to rob her, I'm still breaking the law.

She is driving this down your throat. I'm sick of people just taking this type of crap from shitty people. There is an endless stream of free babysitters and house-stitters being walked all over by people who say they love them. Bull shit they love them..they need them to hold the fort down while they run off to fuck other people and they need them to run home to when the shine wears off thier NRE ridden adventure. Fuck them, let them come home to locked doors and R-E-A-L-I-T-Y. The world doesn't revolve around them, and if they constantly put their needs ahead of their partners then they aren't worth the love of those who put the needs of others first.

Stand up if you don't want this. Better yet, get her and your parents opinion on what they think of this in relation to "She feels that she has a right to do as she pleases as an individual". See how righteous she feels then.

Saying there is nothing you can do about this is makes you sound weak and helpless and I am sure you are not.

Her preferring you not to have other relationships makes total sense though..she might have to hire some one to clean the house while she's off with her boyfriend.

I normally would be a lot less irate but when when a partner tells their partner that something is "going to happen" there is no love involved; their is only childish, greedy, selfish and destructive self centered behavior.

You're looking for a benefit to poly under the conditions she has given you? There is none unless you just want the house to yourself.

Negatives:
You have no choice so your self confidence will be shot.
You'll feel ashamed because people will think of you as weak when they find out, and they will unless you're really good at hiding it or just don't care.
When people ask you how you and your wife are doing, a knife will peirce your chest and they will see it in your eyes
Every time she visits him you'll probably feel physically ill at the idea of him sweating on her

Can you work around this and perhaps both be taken care of...yup, but she has got to knock off her "this is going to happen shit" and you'll have to step up and make your needs known.

No person will die without another in their life, it just feels that way. Now go get a Plenty of Fish account and see how easy it is to hook up. There's plenty of women looking to have affairs and one night stands...unlike your wife, they just don't tell their husband. Hey, she said you could pursue others.

Rant done
Sorry my friend...I lose it when I hear this type of stuff
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Last edited by MonoVCPHG; 08-30-2010 at 05:39 AM.
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  #5  
Old 08-30-2010, 06:41 AM
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MindfulAgony MindfulAgony is offline
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Default Ouch

I'm sorry to hear of this challenge your having with your wife.

My POV:
Your wife does have the right to do what she pleases as an individual - but she has a RESPONSIBILITY to understand the impact she's having on others and recognize and respect her partner. Your wife seems to be not showing you much respect in this. She's not working with you in this case, she's given you an ultimatum disguised as polyamory. That is no fun. Hurtful.

You have to determine what's important to you and figure out an appropriate response. If you want to explore the possibility of transitioning your relationship to a poly one, you must insist that you start from an equal footing in terms of finding a set of boundaries that you are both comfortable with. The only way to wrest this back into one of equal footing is to get real clear about your feelings, interests, priorities, and boundaries. Boundaries are harder to negotiate around; the rest can be difficult but can be managed if you have enough self-insight and someone who's ready to explore theirs and yours together.

If I were in your position, I'd ask her if she's willing to be patient while I worked through my feelings and if she'd be willing to keep the conversation going - not presuming a specific outcome?

I'd ask her if she's willing to slow down her relationship to put our relationship on an even keel and equal footing so that we're operating from a solid base?

I'd ask her why she feels like her relationship doesn't complicate your marriage while you having an additional relationship is a step too a far? I'd ask her to really explore her feelings about that and find ways to get her to imagine you being in her position with a deep emotional connection and requesting for a physical one as well? Right now, she seems to lack empathy for your needs and feelings. Find ways for her to connect with your fears, questions, and emotions.

I'd tell her that this exploration WILL in fact change the relationship. It might increase your intimacy and spur personal and relational growth. It also might result in the relationship ending AND spark personal growth. I'd make sure she knows that you MAY NOT be willing to be polyamorous - even though you love her enough to explore your feelings about it (prior to her hooking up with her guy). By dealing with your feelings about this, not running away from them, getting behind the fear (etc.) you will grow as an individual - but you still might discover that pure monogamy is the only way for you to go and having a wife who isn't may not be tolerable. You should feel like this is an ok - even if painful - outcome.

If you compromise who you are to save your marriage, your marriage is half dead already. You can't cut off your hand to save your thumb.


Good luck. You have some hard conversations ahead of you. Don't shy away from them. Don't shy away from how you feel. Instead, use them to spur greater understanding of yourself and your needs. Your wife needs to do the same. You both need to find a place where you can respect each other's feelings and needs.

(Note that respecting may mean the marriage has to end. I don't mean respect in the sense that you have to agree. That's not always possible.)
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Last edited by MindfulAgony; 08-30-2010 at 06:49 AM.
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  #6  
Old 08-30-2010, 03:32 PM
Ariakas Ariakas is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MonoVCPHG View Post
You're looking for a benefit to poly under the conditions she has given you? There is none unless you just want the house to yourself.

Negatives:
You have no choice so your self confidence will be shot.
You'll feel ashamed because people will think of you as weak when they find out, and they will unless you're really good at hiding it or just don't care.
When people ask you how you and your wife are doing, a knife will peirce your chest and they will see it in your eyes
Every time she visits him you'll probably feel physically ill at the idea of him sweating on her
Wow I have never seen this side of mono. But I can't disagree with anything. I just wanted to re-iterate what he put here as I am a checklist kind of guy.

Quote:
I understand that love is not a limited resource, but sex, to me, is not something to be shared when you've married based on an implied agreement.
Interesting, you gave me an idea for a thread ...
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  #7  
Old 08-30-2010, 04:02 PM
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SourGirl SourGirl is offline
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Wow. I am almost speechless at the responses. ....almost.

Seems to be a lot of prejudgement going on, based on reading some other spinless adventures on the board.

You may not like how the wife has been, and the fact she feels she owns her own body, but give credit, where credit is due.


She came to her husband FIRST. She has told him how she feels beforehand. She has been honest enought to admit she doesn`t want him to engage in other relationships, but has told him he is free to because it`s fair. She is acknowledging her selfish feelings, and over-riding it because she cares for him to have the same opportunities. Anyone here ever have a selfish feeling and admit it, yet do whats right regardless ?

How many other threads have we read where parties cheated, and husbands didnt want the wife to date ? Those people got better advice and compassion then this thread is getting. Role reversal in the way perhaps ?


To the OP : Every new situation has its rocky bits. The wife and you need to talk more. It is great that she is waiting for your acclimation, but she needs to back off the 'independence' angle. I think it comes from a fear she may have of this person being cut out of her life due to worries over jealousy.

She may feel she risked a lot telling you this. She may also think if she has all the 'compromises' figured out beforehand, that things will go better.

Compromise doesn`t work that way. She has messed up here.
No one goes through something like this, and handles it perfectly. We all look back and see actions we thought seemed smart at the time, and realized how our fears were controlling us.

Her fear of losing him has caused her to try and set one thing in stone. This will backfire. I would do some searches on articles about fear, and how to deal with opening up a previously monogamous relationship in a respectful manner. She needs to understand, that she has a better chance of this working out in the long term, if you truly feel included, appreciated and thought of in the decision.

Best of luck.

Definetly taking a hiatus from this board,...ughh.

Edit to add :That last part sounds hissy, and drama-ish. Not meant to. Just rolling my eyes and taking a walk through a different part of the park.

Last edited by SourGirl; 08-30-2010 at 04:09 PM.
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  #8  
Old 08-30-2010, 06:26 PM
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I find this op's post interesting because his discription of how his wife dealt with everything is how I used to deal with things. I want something and I will get it under the guise of a right to my independence. Independence is a right, but should never be a demand in a loving relationship however. Things is, what people say on here is one sided too. Sometimes it can be triggering as a result. We are all entitled to be triggered. Some were one way and it sounds like their trigger triggered you superjast. A trigger is trigger. Interesting to look at why I think.
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Old 08-30-2010, 07:29 PM
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SNeacail SNeacail is offline
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My only suggestion would be to put into writing your version of the conversation/situation (print out your post) and let your wife read it. It is very likely that she may have said one thing and you heard another or she may have said one thing, but ment something a little different. Everyone definitely needs to be working on the same page before anything can move forward.
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Old 08-30-2010, 07:43 PM
Athena Athena is offline
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Default Counseling?

I agree with the idea that there may be a lot of issues brewing in your marriage and possibly carry over from past relationships that could be part of this. Is your wife ready to go to counseling before jumping into this relationship she gave you an ultimatum about? And what if you said its him or me? Would she still want to just have that relationship or does she value you enough to slow the whole thing down?
In my marriage, a big issue was infertility and all that carries, and the infertility was and (still is ) despite birth of our wonderchild who I am currently home with, and with help from his grandma. Also the infertility is due to meds I take for bipolar disorder and it is really questionable to my mind that I need to have been on them and be on them without a break for as long as I have (and am).
The issues combined to get my husband interested in a swinger's board, because he says he feels emotionally fully attached to me, but wants more of a sex life than between above issues noted I have been able to give him or myself. The way I am wired, I actually would feel more comfortable for him to have a long term girlfriend that I am also friends with (sexual for him but not sexual for me). And although he has reluctantly said that might work out, lets put it this way, neither of us is in a rush to go out and find anybody. Also, if my body's ability to have a sex life suddenly was returned to me, I would reserve my right to be able to do what he is allowed to do. My husband has agreed that our rights are equal in this, whatever we end up deciding to do.
He also told me, if I want neither of us to see anyone he is ok with that too.
So your wife really has to 1) respect your boundaries, 2) you respect hers and 3) you need to see a marriage counselor. (which i and my husband did).
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