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Old 01-22-2011, 12:58 AM
parcimonieux parcimonieux is offline
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Default Advice: her mono boyfriend

TL;DR My wife and I are in a deep and intense relationship with a poly girl who is in a relationship with a mono guy. He mostly approves of my wife but does not approve of me. The three of us agree that this is very undesirable, maybe unsustainable. We have never met him, and he is coming over for dinner tomorrow. Don't know what to do.

I'm sure this isn't new territory for the forum, but I'm finding my stress level is going through the roof today, and I'm hoping maybe this will help.

Us (A & B): Previously mono couple, married for 8 years. We both have a long history of swinging but have been mono for most of our time together, though not for any particular reason. Almost on a whim, we opened up our relationship late last year and have found that is suits us amazingly well. My wife is truly bisexual (by which I mean she has had real relationships with both men and women, not just sex). We are neither jealous nor possessive and we trust each other completely.

Her (C): An incredible woman that we've both had a crush on for a long time. She is also truly bi and has been in long-term poly relationships as long as we have known her. Her marriage to a semi-poly guy broke up about 2 years ago and she was just dating around for a while until about 5 months ago when she started a mostly-mono relationship with:

Him (D): From all reports, an incredible guy with an incredible family and a lot in common with us. He was aware of her poly-ness when they got together, but they have lived mono except for some minor swinging/playing. AFAIK, he has never been in a poly relationship. We have never met him.

C suddenly burst into our lives after a fun and silly night with my wife and myself. There were boundaries due to D, and we respected them. It was instantly obvious that this was not just a fling; we became immediately attached. D is totally OK with C playing with my wife, but it eventually became clear that he is not OK with me (not particularly unusual, I think). This was certainly disappointing, but there is still plenty to do without breaking rules. Fast-forward a month and now the relationship between A/B/C has only grown more intense and more serious. Sex is secondary, we care deeply for C.

I have discussed it a lot with C, and we both agree that the current relationship with unnatural boundaries is not desirable, and possibly not sustainable.

We are finally going to meet D tomorrow when he comes to our house for dinner. I never expected to be so nervous, but I feel like I am going to lose my mind. I feel almost desperate to somehow gain his approval and I don't even know the guy. Will he decide he is OK with me/us? Will he want to participate? Will there be chemistry between he and my wife that might help? Of course, I know you can't answer these specific things but the questions are tearing at me.

Has anyone been in a situation like this? I want to make him feel comfortable, and understand that I am not a threat like I'm sure he thinks I am.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 01-22-2011, 01:15 AM
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nycindie nycindie is offline
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Hi! I don't have experience with what you're dealing with, but it occurs to me that you are focusing on a specific outcome (D. liking you and approving of the situation). I think you need to let go of that a bit.

Why you are inviting them over? Is it just to impress him? Having that as a goal will almost surely fall flat. Here are some ideas to keep in mind, which may help to calm you: To welcome this man, someone your girlfriend is fond of, into your home. To share with him (meaning let him see and observe) the affection you feel for her. To get to know him, and let him get to know you and your wife. To build a community. To break down barriers. Keep It Simple, Sweetie!

Just try not to think of it as your "chance to make him like you." You have no control over that, nor his resistance to the situation. He will either be on board, or he won't, and you just need to worry about being yourself, not convincing him of anything. Think of it as an opportunity to expand your circle of friends and declare your love for your wife and feelings for your girlfriend with someone new present. Beforehand, just remind yourself of all the stuff you are confident about in your life (accomplishments, abilities, etc.), notice how your body feels when you think of those things, and relax into who you are when you feel that way. You'll be fine as long as impressing him is not the goal.



PS - what does "TL;DR" mean?? I've seen it written here before and am puzzled.
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Last edited by nycindie; 01-22-2011 at 01:17 AM.
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Old 01-22-2011, 01:37 AM
parcimonieux parcimonieux is offline
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Too Long; Don't Read

Wow. You are absolutely right at every level. Thankfully no, we are not having him over just to try and impress him; it's just to get to know each other and *hopefully* break down barriers in the process. I like to think that I don't harbor any unrealistic expectations about the meeting, and I know we cannot make him do anything.

Despite recognizing that, my fear and tension is definitely coming from focusing on the outcome, even though I know I can't control it. It's irrational but I'm finding it hard not to think that way since it feels like a negative outcome might take her away from us. Which, in reality, it almost certainly wouldn't anyway.

Not to get all gushy, but that was an incredibly helpful and insightful response, I'm somewhat floored.

Thank you.
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Old 01-22-2011, 05:35 AM
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nycindie nycindie is offline
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You're welcome. Glad to be of help. Just a little bit more...

Quote:
Originally Posted by parcimonieux View Post
no, we are not having him over just to try and impress him
I didn't mean to imply that that was the only reason you invited him; but you did say in your first post that you were "almost desperate" for his approval, so it's more like an undercurrent running below the surface.

Quote:
Despite recognizing that, my fear and tension is definitely coming from focusing on the outcome, even though I know I can't control it. It's irrational but I'm finding it hard not to think that way since it feels like a negative outcome might take her away from us. Which, in reality, it almost certainly wouldn't anyway.
That's okay, acknowledge those thoughts but don't feed them, and remember where to place your attention. Break the evening down into moments. Just concern yourself with first things first, each step of the way, like: Make the space comfortable; Plan the menu; The cooking (will your guests help out in the kitchen, which can often be fun, or be entertained while the cooking's done?). Break the ice, music, drinks, whatever. The table, the food, the conversation, the connections to people you love - forget about the end of the night and the next day, just be present in each moment and remember it's all about the love and affection that connect you all.
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Old 01-22-2011, 07:44 PM
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redpepper redpepper is offline
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Remember that this guy is probably shitting his pants about now! Geesh, he is in a far worse place than you... empathize with that. If you are feeling stressed, no doubt he is too and the two of you can relate.

Maybe make a joke about it when he comes in the door. There is nothing like being entirely honest and saying to him that you have been really freaked out because you want him to like you because this woman and what you are developing with her is important to you. You care about her and who is important to her and REALLY want to make a good impression because he means something to her... I would be surprised if he didn't feel safe enough to be just as honest back with you. Being open and vulnerable creates space for others to be so.

I don't know if it is such a good idea to be keen on your wife developing an interest in him. I think its disrespectful to even think about it in terms of a solution. The man claims he is mono, I would leave him alone on that one until he suggests otherwise.

I would be damned sure, if I were her, not to flirt or think of him in a sexual/relationship way at all. I think I would be a good host and make him feel welcomed and comfortable. That's it. The guy has enough on his plate trying to comprehend the lifestyle he is being forced to understand without complicating it with people coming on to him or offering him something other than a warm hand of friendship. He is your metamour, not a potential lover at this point.

I would suggest doing some reading on here about mono/poly relationships in order to get an understanding of where he might be coming from... the two are VERY different and I have found no way to merge the two without compromises that can be really difficult. I am in a live in relationship with Mono and PN, one my mono boyfriend, the other my poly husband. It is very complicated and in order to be respectful, I suggest knowing something about it. Being openly poly/swingerish can come across in a certain way to a lot of mono folk. If you really want this guy to feel comfortable; I suggest really knowing and thinking more on that.
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Old 01-22-2011, 10:47 PM
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nycindie nycindie is offline
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Hey, Parcimonieux,
RP offered very sound advice!

Don't know if you will login and see this before your dinner tonight but I just wanted to say:

don't forget to HAVE FUN!!!
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"Love is that condition in which another person's happiness is essential to your own." ~Robert Heinlein
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