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Old 03-31-2012, 01:37 AM
SuddenlyStoneElf SuddenlyStoneElf is offline
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Question Interest in my husband

Hi guys,

I have a question for you, this is bugging me for some reason and I cannot figure out where the jealousy may be coming from.

I am wrestling with the idea (and possibility) that an acquaintance/friend of my husband's is interested in having something (fling? FWB? some kind of relationship?) with my husband.

This interest was expressed back when my husband thought he was poly before having given much actual thought to the idea except as a potential way to experiment sexually with a friend outside our dating relationship at the time.

I don't think this lady has forgotten him even though he's backed off the idea, and she did express her own reservations: she didn't exactly want to start anything with someone new (her words to him, as he told me). She didn't have time, she was dealing with a broken heart, etc...

Now she may be back in the picture soon. I know the interest is not dead between them at all. But I have never met her. I'm bothered by the idea that she may be thinking of pursuing something with him when she hasn't even made herself known to me.

I have the nagging feeling that I shouldn't be having any problem with this. But I do. It bothers me very much that someone is thinking about starting something with my husband without even talking to me.

Is this very common, that people outside will just approach one half of a couple and go ahead with their own plan, and not try to figure out who's already in the life of this person? Is it common to consider people on their own basis as one person, one individual, even though they're married/with other people, and keep everyone separate?

I don't know if I'm clear enough but the feeling itself is muddy... I know this probably touches some of my trust issues.

I also know that I may be having this problem because I absolutely could NOT have a relationship with anyone before hubby has a chance to get to know the guy. I suppose, being like this, I want to be treated the same way. I understand that maybe my husband and this woman don't work like that.

I would definitely appreciate some tips on figuring this one out... how should I try to approach this? =/
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Old 03-31-2012, 02:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SuddenlyStoneElf View Post
It bothers me very much that someone is thinking about starting something with my husband without even talking to me.

Is this very common, that people outside will just approach one half of a couple and go ahead with their own plan, and not try to figure out who's already in the life of this person?
Hmmm, well, you can't stop people from having thoughts. But seriously, just because she didn't contact you first doesn't mean she isn't aware or respectful of anyone else in his life. It also doesn't mean that she doesn't want to talk to you -- eventually.

I myself wouldn't necessarily go first to the wife of a married poly guy I'm interested in - I'd want to flirt a little with him, determine if there is interest on his part, see if we have some chemistry between us before I talk to her. To me, approaching a spouse first would seem like I'm just assuming he will want to be with me -- and that comes off as arrogant in my mind. I also don't want to feel like I'm asking for permission. All I want from a spouse is confirmation that he is in a consensual polyamorous arrangement and not cheating. I do not date men who have veto arrangements with any of their partners.

The first things I do is test the waters to see if we're actually interested in each other, and then find out what agreements he's got with his partner(s) to determine how they might affect me. If I felt that their agreements would not impinge upon my freedoms too much, and that this was someone I wanted to pursue (and he wanted to as well), then at that point I would want to be in touch with his wife. I wouldn't wait too long. But I don't see it worth bothering her while I'm still unsure (about my feelings or his). I would assume or hope that he would let her know there's someone he's interested in before I contact her, anyway. You know, "Hey, there's this woman I've been emailing..." or "I met someone I really like..." etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SuddenlyStoneElf View Post
Is it common to consider people on their own basis as one person, one individual, even though they're married/with other people, and keep everyone separate?
Well, a married couple isn't joined at the hip, there are two people there, two individuals. How else would a person relate to one of them except as an individual?

I don't know how common it is, but being facile and comfortable with it might have something to do with insecurities, age, experience in relationships, etc. I'm a mature person (and what I mean by that is OLD), a grown-up. I only want to partner with people who haven't lost their autonomy in any primary relationships they may have. I'm not into couples, as I am straight and only date men. If a guy is married, I would hope that his marriage is strong and secure enough to handle him being with multiple people, and that they do see that they are not one unit but two individuals. Though I wouldn't mind a polite friendship with his wife, I'm only going to be in relationship with him, after all. But once I am in contact with a spouse, I feel it is important to reassure her that although my relationship with her husband will develop independently and have its own dynamic, I fully respect their marriage (ie., I'm not a cowgirl).

Quote:
Originally Posted by SuddenlyStoneElf View Post
I would definitely appreciate some tips on figuring this one out... how should I try to approach this? =/
Well, you could reach out to her first (if he is interested in her). I thought it was lovely the times when a wife of someone I was flirting with contacted me to say, "Hello, I've heard about you and I'm so happy to see how excited my husband is when he talks about you. At some point I hope we can get to know each other, too." What would prevent you from doing that?
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Last edited by nycindie; 03-31-2012 at 03:08 AM.
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Old 03-31-2012, 07:47 AM
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Originally Posted by nycindie View Post

The first things I do is test the waters to see if we're actually interested in each other, and then find out what agreements he's got with his partner(s) to determine how they might affect me. If I felt that their agreements would not impinge upon my freedoms too much, and that this was someone I wanted to pursue (and he wanted to as well), then at that point I would want to be in touch with his wife. I wouldn't wait too long. But I don't see it worth bothering her while I'm still unsure (about my feelings or his). I would assume or hope that he would let her know there's someone he's interested in before I contact her, anyway. You know, "Hey, there's this woman I've been emailing..." or "I met someone I really like..." etc.
That is similar to what I would do. I too also wouldn't mind if somebody I'd been talking to had any important partners write to me to say hi (as long as it was friendly that is). This isn't the situation with this person as your husband already knew her but, I likely wouldn't be meeting someone's wife until after a few dates had happened, unless we hit it off after her emailing me, well enough that we were going to form an independent friendship.

I would make sure to meet a wife or live in girlfriend before the relationship became intimate (didn't do that once, wouldn't do it again). I think if I was newer to poly, I would be more likely to be overcautious, but the truth is, in your place, with these worries you have, I'd express my feelings to my husband and ask if we could meet before they started talking about a potential romance. Dinner, board games, coffee, whatever. I like meeting my husband's interests because they are usually pretty great. I go into these things more interested in if I'm going to make a new friend than worrying about what is going to happen with them and my husband.
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Old 03-31-2012, 03:40 PM
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Some people would actually very much prefer NOT to meet or talk to their partner's new lovers. How would this woman know whether or not that's the case for you until someone tells her?
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Old 03-31-2012, 08:04 PM
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DH and I have been married over 17 years. Only opened up to non monogamy and then poly within the last five. Not once has someone talked to him before me. The relationship I am in now, although long distance, has been the most successful as far as comfort and respect and communication. Yet, the two men have only communicated together once. After a surgery DC texted worried and DH texted back to let him know how things went.

Now, they know of each other, I know DC respects DH and is honestly still a little nervous. He feels DH is a role he would never fill and is a rather long yard stick to be measured against. (No there is no competition but there is still worry sometimes from both on comparisons) They may talk in the future, they may not. I allow that bit to go at their pace, not mine. They have both passed along information, games and music they think the other would be interested in through me, and said 'hi' through me while I am chatting, but the two together? No. Sometimes Metamours can become great friends, but I never assumed it was required. As long as everyone is honest and communicating well, even if it's not always directly, then I don't worry over it. I am, after all, the one dating DC. If DH dates in the future I won't assume the woman will have to go through me to do so.
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Old 03-31-2012, 08:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SuddenlyStoneElf View Post
I have the nagging feeling that I shouldn't be having any problem with this. But I do. It bothers me very much that someone is thinking about starting something with my husband without even talking to me.

Is this very common, that people outside will just approach one half of a couple and go ahead with their own plan...
OP, just thought I would point out how you expressed a couplecentric perspective. You used the terms "people outside" and not simply "people"... "one half of a couple" and not simply "a person who is in a relationship." I would hazard a guess that your difficulty with this woman's interest in your husband might stem from something akin to an "us versus the world" viewpoint, as if when you married you are now morphed together as a unit while everyone else sits outside of that, and a general belief that people should see you both as one unit, A Couple.
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Last edited by nycindie; 03-31-2012 at 08:40 PM.
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Old 04-02-2012, 04:45 PM
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Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
I would hazard a guess that your difficulty with this woman's interest in your husband might stem from something akin to an "us versus the world" viewpoint, as if when you married you are now morphed together as a unit while everyone else sits outside of that, and a general belief that people should see you both as one unit, A Couple.

This struck a chord with me because thinking on it, it might just be the most difficult part of poly to come to terms with. At least for married couples, IMHO. For nearly two decades it HAS been US vs. The World. We have learned to work as a unit. Which is great! For us, for our marriage, for our family. The tricky part is learning that while we are a unit, a couple, we are also two separate people.

DH and I have been talking for awhile about what we want in our 'marriage contract'. Going with the idea that relationships need to be negotiated then renegotiated as time goes on, we realized this does NOT pertain only to the new relationships in our lives but ours as well. A major point for us is that we are two separate people. That we have to fee comfortable, safe, fulfilled, and strong as individuals.

It makes us stronger as a couple as well, but also reminds us that while we work together as a family unit, a parental unit, a couple unit, we are still two individuals. New relationships don't get added on like accessories to the main relationship.
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Old 04-02-2012, 06:16 PM
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New relationships don't get added on like accessories to the main relationship.
This is key!!! What a great way to word it, Vix.

As a solo poly person who faces the possibility of dating married poly men, I have no desire to be an accessory.
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Old 04-07-2012, 06:23 PM
SuddenlyStoneElf SuddenlyStoneElf is offline
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Thank you all for your responses.

I agree that nobody should be an "accessory" to anybody else. However I find that thinking of being married, or committed, or being in a couple should not count at all (that it lacks relevance) doesn't work for me.

I am not saying this in the sense that the married couple becomes "a unit that cannot and should not be compromised". Two people are two people, I wouldn't want to be forced to interact with people only as one half of a couple. But I'm in his life. He's in mine. Why do we suddenly need to treat each other as we don't exist under special circumstances? That, more than anything, sounds like having accessory relationships to me.

I made the choice to get married, and so did my husband. It counts for something, in my view. It doesn't get to be used as an excuse for me to spy, or to control; same is true for him. But it counts.

I suppose this means that for me, I need some kind of involvement in his life; in his poly life, too.

I don't see myself suddenly dating anyone and not letting him know, or even telling him "Well, it's me dating him, you have no say about it, and you don't get to know anything because you know what? I get to decide that I'm keeping you two separate, because that's simpler for me. Find a way to deal with it."

Perhaps it's na´ve of me to think he HAS to do the same for me. But I believe I would request it of him. As a couple I want to grow in this relationship I have with him... with him. All of him, and his being poly too. I want to know what's going on because knowing what makes him happy with someone else would help me be happy about it, too. I believe the idea is called compersion? I'm not saying I want to necessarily become BFFs with the other woman. But ... the idea that it should be perfectly okay for me to not ever get to know her is very, very strange. It makes no sense, rationally (nevermind emotionally).

I'm committed to hubby, yes; but I don't want to "divorce" him in my head where other people are concerned. I guess... I don't want him to separate me out either.

This idea bears a lot more thought than what I could put in a single post... We haven't been together that long. Perhaps our relationship will eventually look like what was described in your responses: we've been together so long that we just don't think to see it this way anymore.

For now.... Nope. I need some easing into it. Can't deal with full blown separate lives.

Last edited by SuddenlyStoneElf; 04-07-2012 at 06:28 PM.
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Old 04-07-2012, 06:35 PM
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Perhaps I wasn't as clear as I meant to be. I said nothing about separate lives, about no knowledge, about being kept in the dark. Your question, I had thought, was regarding a woman interested in your husband and NOT running it past you before running it past him.

As I stated, DC, whom I'm seeing now, did not run it past hubby first, honestly they havent' talked or met. However, I did not start a relationship without hubby knowing or being a part of it. The MOMENT it came up as a possible relationship I told hubby. Discussed it with him and told him that I would be discussing it in more depth with DC. Mostly because DC is also mono and having never been in a poly relationship I wanted him to understand what he was getting himself into and make sure he was willing to learn more about the lifestyle so that he was comfortable with how things progressed.

Hubby has been aware of every step. From us deciding to face time to dirty pictures. It's not separate lives, I don't think I would like that. I like that I can be chatting with one and the other is throwing in a few comments back and forth. That they joke with and through me, that they respect each other.

We are a unit, hubby and I. We are working on strengthening that every day. However, I do not expect my suitors to go to him first and would not expect his to come to me first. That is all I was stating. If you would like, sit with hubby, figure out how you want this to work. What steps in what order. Relationships are all different but ground rules is not out of the ordinary. Hell, even single people have their own rules like, "I don't go past second base until the third date." So having a rule like, "I need to at least know about the person before the first date." Is not odd.

I think that it's just odd to expect a suitor to go to you first instead of the person they are interested in. It's like going to parents for their child's hand in marriage. It might seem like it makes sense but honestly who does that? I'd be kind of upset that my parents found out someone wanted to marry me before me!!
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