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  #11  
Old 06-26-2012, 08:31 PM
Katrpillar Katrpillar is offline
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Default There is not just one right way

If you are interested in your best friends spouse I think who you tell first or if you tell both at once depends on the nature of your relationships with both. For me, I know that if I had a best friend whom I considered was a lifer I would feel a need to talk to that friend first before pursuing a crush on his spouse or GF. I would do this because of my own need to keep/maintain that relationship (friendship) as a higher priority than pursuing the crush I had on his/her partner. This is similar to my need to talk with my DH before pursuing any crushes I have because I place a higher priority on maintaining my marriage and checking in with my DH’s feelings before I act on something that doesn't yet exist but could change the nature of our relationship if it did.

If I know that I definitely would not pursue an interest in someone if a partner of mine (friend or romantic) was very uncomfortable with it, I would definitely go to that person first. I don’t know if this is the right way or not but I would see it as the best way for me to approach the situation. Perhaps this is because I am a VERY loyal person to those who I am in relationship with and I would want to check in with those relationships before doing something that I believed might damage them.

If I know what my actions will be based on a specific person’s feelings then I don’t think it is required to inform the crush beforehand. I guess I would be making decisions for this fantasy relationship but those are MY decisions to make based on the current relationships I have at the moment. If they are secretly yearning for me it is up to them to voice that to me or their partner. They can make their own choices too. I consider my committed friendships and romantic relationships before I consider crushes and would-be fantasies. This is because I can choose not to act on my crushes if I feel that they will damage my existing relationships. Why potentially hurt/involve the person I am crushing on if I know I will shut it off quickly if a partner of mine (friend in this case) objects strongly to the point of it damaging our relationship/friendship.

I think this only works if the feelings are just a crush and not fully developed yet. Once I cross to “in love” this path might not work for me.

In a different scenario where I am equally enmeshed and friends with both equally I may choose to come out to both at the same time in a light way, “Hey, I know we are all good friends. I totally love being in both of your lives. Lately, I am finding myself crushing on Y. Is it totally crazy of me to entertain these fun thoughts of becoming more especially since we are all such good friends?”

If I am having “Love” feelings for one person and I feel I NEED them to know then I might do the letter writing- one written specifically to each. If I wanted to share these feelings in person rather than writing I probably would share it with my friend first as a heads up while also stating my intention to share it with my love (his wife) shortly there after. Yet again, depending on the feelings I have I might NEED to tell my Love first and I would hope that my friend would understand. I definitely wouldn't keep them in the dark too long.

If I had deep feelings of love I would feel uncomfortable having a group conversation right out the gate (especially if I am not yet experienced in group relationship conversations). I personally wouldn’t want anyone else present if I were to be saying I love you to someone for the first time. Nor would I want anyone else present if someone were to tell me they loved me for the first time. To me some things are best left to one on one moments. I would hope both your friend and your love would be understanding of you wanting to talk with both yet separately at first. Just like you would be understanding (I hope) of them wanting some time to speak to each other alone initially.

I would ask myself, “What do I need to move forward in the best way for me?” based on what my relationship goals are at the time. If I would feel bad/guilty not talking to your friend first do that. If you don’t want to pursue a romance if your friends not ok, do that. If your feelings are too strong and can’t be shut off, consider that. What does your body and core tell you? This is where your answer is I think and it’s ok if it is different than what other people would do. Their relationship goals and modes of operation/prioritizing might be very different than yours.

Hope this helps,

Katrpillar

P.S. I personally wouldn't feel slighted at all if my DH's best/good friend brought up with him first a romantic interest in me- to check his radar before pursuing/talking to me. It would show me that this friend values existing relationships and wants to communicate with people who are important to him before making big decisions/changes. To me friendships are equally important as romantic relationships are. I would definitely pass on certain romances if I believed they would damage my core relationships. I would respect the friend's need to make sure his friendships don't get damaged over mere possibilities and I wouldn't take it personally. It would be the same as me checking in with my DH before pursuing a relationship with his best friend.
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  #12  
Old 06-28-2012, 03:11 AM
openminds openminds is offline
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Wow, thanks everyone. this is exactly the kind of discussion I was looking for.

You guys have given me a lot to think about. I dont think I had fully thought about the fact that if this relationship were to move forward and then break off, I wouldn't have my pal to run to for comfort. That would be pretty hard for me. Given that I consider them both invaluable friends, it might be a good idea not to complicate things.

On the other hand, this kind of feels like the sort of thing that won't stay secret for long. Like I said, it really seems like its a two way street. I havent and wouldnt do anything improper, but theres a type of flirty energy between us that is hard to mask and that I really doubt my friend hasnt picked up on. So the question there is whether its better to leave it as an open secret, ignore it till it goes away kind of thing, or bring it out in the open so we can all talk about it. My gut says its better to be open, but there's enough at stake here that I need to really think it through first.

I dont think Wife would be offended if I talked to my friend first but I do think my friend would feel betrayed if I talked to her first. I really like the idea of sending them a letter at the same time. That way they have whatever space they need to talk about it or have whatever reaction they have to it, and I dont have to go through the really intimidating experience of declaring myself to their faces.

I agree that the most important thing is to be very clear that I value the friendships over everything else and that if nothing comes of this everything will still be fine. Thank you again for all the great advice.
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  #13  
Old 06-28-2012, 09:07 AM
Tonberry Tonberry is offline
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To answer your question about mentioning it or keeping it secret, I think if it really feels to you like she is responding, you should have it in the open. Even if in the end you decide not to act on it because you're worried it would affect your friendship, if you don't say anything it could look to him like you're being sneaky about it, and that would be bad. Even if you do tell them, if you wait a while he might feel like you should have come forward sooner and not let things develop that much, so I would definitely think that putting it in the open soon would be best.
I do tend to like being open about things and hate hiding anything, even when I fully understand the reasons, so I'm probably biased.
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  #14  
Old 06-30-2012, 11:21 AM
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SchrodingersCat SchrodingersCat is offline
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There are two ways to ask the husband how he feels about this, and they're worlds apart.

1) "Do I have your permission to date your wife?" invites the husband to make a decision for his wife. I get the impression this is what you thought I meant by "talk to the husband first."

2) "Would it bother you if I wanted to date your wife?" invites the husband to express his feelings to his best friend. It does not ask him to make a decision for her. This is what I meant by "talk to the husband first."

I'm under the impression that if the relationship would hurt the husband, then openminds will not want to do it. I certainly wouldn't. In that case, the wife's wants are virtually irrelevant, because openminds himself is choosing not to date her. In that case, it's untrue that the husband is making the decision for her; openminds is. I think we're agreed that openminds gets as much a vote as wife, and he's free to use whatever reasons he wants for making that decision, including not wanting to hurt his best friend's feelings.I think it's extremely relevant that openminds is the husband's best friend first, and knows the wife only through his best friend.

Either way, he runs the risk of hurting someone's feelings. As the husband's best friend, he has a bigger responsibility to the friend than the friend's wife. The wife is only a friend by association. She's a grown-up, she'll get over a few hurt feelings. But sneaking around behind the husband's back, or putting the husband in a tight spot with his wife, could destroy the friendship and strain the marriage. I would much rather piss off my best friend's wife than lose my best friend all together.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tonberry View Post
First, the idea that my husband knows first that someone likes me, when I feel I should be the first person to know (tied first, in this case). Secondly, and the more important one, it's the idea that my husband could say "no, not a good idea" and that I wouldn't be told what happened behind my back, and have no control over it. Someone else would have made a decision about my life without consulting me first.
(first) Well it's already too late for that, and really how many people are ever the first person to find out when someone has a crush on them? Since the dawn of time, when you have a crush on someone, your best friend is the first person you tell. It just happens in this case that the best friend is the husband of the woman you have a crush on...

(secondly) Again, you're assuming he's going to "ask permission" and not "talk about feelings." If openminds chooses not to date the wife on the grounds that it will hurt his best friend's feelings, then it's true that openminds is making a decision that she has no control over, but it's also his decision to make.

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Originally Posted by Tonberry View Post
I think everyone should always have the option to make an informed decision. If someone wants to date me and my husband says no, I want to be aware. I might decide to divorce my husband over it, for all we know. I think hiding that kind of thing from me is a form of cheating, and I would feel very betrayed.
But would you divorce your husband for having hurt feelings that caused his friend to change his mind about dating you?

I do agree that hiding things from your spouse betrays their trust. From the sounds of it, this couple has good communication so I'm taking it on faith that he would "do the right thing" if his friend brought this up. Whether he's a good husband or not is not openminds' responsibility.

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Originally Posted by Tonberry View Post
I do feel the proposal example is close: if the father says no it means no, if he says yes you can go on and propose to your girlfriend (who always has the option to say no as well).
When you referred to the daughter as property, I inferred you were talking about the archaic form of asking the father if you could transfer ownership of the daughter.

I didn't realize you were talking about the 1950s version where the boy and girl have already discussed the idea of marriage, but the boy hasn't gotten down on one knee with a ring yet, because asking the father is the only way to get accepted into the family. I can see that analogy applying to the "ask permission" scenario.

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Originally Posted by Tonberry View Post
We're not talking about people who like each other and are asking the husband if it's okay. We're talking about someone who hasn't disclosed his feelings yet. What is he going to do if the husband isn't comfortable with it? Tell the wife "I like you but your husband doesn't want me to date you", which is putting them against one another? Or lie, which is disrespectful considering her husband already knows, and she'd be denied the right to know about something that concerns her when a third party was told already? Talking to the husband first is putting himself in a bad position with no good answer if the husband was to say no. It's also putting the husband in a position where he might be blamed for making two people unhappy by making the decision himself on his own. If the decision comes from both of them at once (regardless of who said "no" to it), then it seems to me it would be less harmful to both the relationship and the friendship.
Quite honestly, if the husband wants to say no, he's going to be in a tight spot no matter what.

If openminds tells them at the same time and their initial reactions are opposite, then openminds talking about it at all will have put them against one another.

If he tells her first and the husband opposes it, then the husband will be standing between two people who want to be together.

If he tells the husband first and the husband opposes it, then the husband can at least save a little face by being the one to tell his wife.

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Originally Posted by Tonberry View Post
It seems to me we have strong disagreement on the issue, which I assume is because I see myself in the position of the wife and you see yourself in the position of the husband. While I can imagine my friends telling me first that they like my husband, I can't imagine giving any answer other than "why the hell are you asking ME for?"
That's a fair assessment. For me, what it comes down to is that a close friendship is more important than a few hurt feelings for the wife. People get offended and have their feelings hurt all the time. You get over it. But having his best friend and his wife have a sex/romance talk behind his back could leave him feeling betrayed by the two most important people in your life.
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Last edited by SchrodingersCat; 06-30-2012 at 11:24 AM.
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  #15  
Old 06-30-2012, 11:35 AM
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SchrodingersCat SchrodingersCat is offline
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Originally Posted by openminds View Post
You guys have given me a lot to think about. I dont think I had fully thought about the fact that if this relationship were to move forward and then break off, I wouldn't have my pal to run to for comfort. That would be pretty hard for me. Given that I consider them both invaluable friends, it might be a good idea not to complicate things.
When my best friend and my husband were discussing sex, part of what bothered me is that they didn't have any kind of contingency plan for "what if?" They just assumed nothing awkward could possibly happen. I'm a big fan of contingency plans.

Not only would you not have your friend for support, but it would become very difficult if not impossible to hang out with them together, which would likely mean less time with your friend. Then there's also the possibility that it will be you, not her, that breaks it off, and then she'll need her husband for comfort and he'll have a hard time being close to the man who hurt his wife.

Wow that all sounds like awful scare tactics, which isn't my intention. I just think it's good to consider all the possibilities and plan as well as you can for them. You're adults, they sound like good communicators, so I don't see why it would have to be a messy breakup at all. Often things just "fizzle" and when they finally break off, it's not even a big deal for anyone, and you'd go back to friends.

Quote:
Originally Posted by openminds View Post
On the other hand, this kind of feels like the sort of thing that won't stay secret for long. Like I said, it really seems like its a two way street. I havent and wouldnt do anything improper, but theres a type of flirty energy between us that is hard to mask and that I really doubt my friend hasnt picked up on. So the question there is whether its better to leave it as an open secret, ignore it till it goes away kind of thing, or bring it out in the open so we can all talk about it. My gut says its better to be open, but there's enough at stake here that I need to really think it through first.
I have these two poly friends who both totally have a crush on me, but have never outright invited me into their bed/relationship. But holy man do they flirt. I know that if I ever wanted to, they would welcome me right in, but they don't pressure me because they don't want to hurt the friendship.

What I'm getting at, is there are ways to make your intentions clear without coming out and saying it. From there, you can gauge everyone's reactions. Does the husband shift around uncomfortably on his chair? Does he hold onto her a little tighter? Or do his pupils dilate and he starts to subtly push his wife closer to you? Does she get the deer in the headlights look, snuggling closer to him for protection? Or does she lick her lips and sit a little more forward on her chair?

Quote:
Originally Posted by openminds View Post
I dont think Wife would be offended if I talked to my friend first but I do think my friend would feel betrayed if I talked to her first. I really like the idea of sending them a letter at the same time. That way they have whatever space they need to talk about it or have whatever reaction they have to it, and I dont have to go through the really intimidating experience of declaring myself to their faces.
Ultimately, you know them better than any of us. Everything we've been saying is "if it were me." But it's not us, and we don't know them like you do. You probably know whether she's more like Tonberry, or if he's more like me. Or maybe they're both more like my friends above.

Quote:
Originally Posted by openminds View Post
I agree that the most important thing is to be very clear that I value the friendships over everything else and that if nothing comes of this everything will still be fine. Thank you again for all the great advice.
In the letter, I would include "the friendship and your marriage." It doesn't hurt to explicitly state that you don't want to do anything that will put strain on them.

If nothing comes of it, you wouldn't be the first guy out there to have an unrequited love for another man's wife. Not that it would suck any less to know your pain is shared by men everywhere, but it's possible to overcome that.
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Last edited by SchrodingersCat; 06-30-2012 at 11:39 AM.
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  #16  
Old 07-09-2012, 11:06 AM
harvey12 harvey12 is offline
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According to me, you should first try and talk with your friend regarding this. You should tell your best friend about your feelings for his wife. Maybe he can allow you to talk with his wife which can clear your way further.

It might not be love. You may be attracted by her or having a lust on her which is making you believe that you are in love with her. This quite common with most of the peoples.

Last edited by harvey12; 07-09-2012 at 11:10 AM.
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  #17  
Old 08-03-2012, 03:09 PM
donalditsronald donalditsronald is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tonberry View Post
The letter is a good idea. This way it won't seem like you're asking for an answer right away, and they can talk about it.

Going to him first... honestly, I would take it pretty personally if someone told my husband he liked me before he told me. It would feel like going to my father to ask for my hand before proposing to me. I don't belong to another person, and I can make my own decisions. Don't negotiate me like that before I'm even in the loop. I understand talking to your spouse before you talk to your person of interest (so, in your wife's case for instance, I do think she should talk to him first if she likes you) but talking to your person of interest's spouse before them doesn't sit comfortably with me at all.
I understand what you're getting at but I feel that your comparison is lacking two important things.

First of all, the man about to propose to you will probably not have that deep of a connection with your dad. If your father for some reason gets upset that he wasn't asked first, it's a small loss. But in this case it's a guy who is concerned that he may ruin things with his best friend. If the best friend doesn't like the idea of those two dating, thread starter could potentially suffer a pretty big emotional hit. Naturally he wants to avoid that.

Secondly, your father really doesn't (shouldn't) have any say about who you're dating. But in many poly relationships, there are rules about who is ok to date and who isn't. It's not weird if thread starter feels that he should find out about those rules before deciding if it's even worth a go.
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Old 08-03-2012, 05:02 PM
Tonberry Tonberry is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by donalditsronald View Post
Secondly, your father really doesn't (shouldn't) have any say about who you're dating. But in many poly relationships, there are rules about who is ok to date and who isn't. It's not weird if thread starter feels that he should find out about those rules before deciding if it's even worth a go.
True, but it seems to me the rules can be found out from either partner or both at once, so it doesn't require asking the partner you're not interested in first.

Openminds, any chance of an update on this?
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  #19  
Old 08-03-2012, 11:11 PM
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LovingRadiance LovingRadiance is offline
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I would ask the friend first and I would ask in terms of what you said here ,
that you think you are interested, you can't say "love" but you are attracted-
but that you want to ensure that EVERYONE IS ONBOARD FIRST becaause your friendship is deeply important to you-presumably more than fucking the wife would be.

You say they are poly-so having someone come to him and say "I'm attracted to your wife, I'm intersted, but I value our friendship more than I'm willing to risk it without your support" should be taken as a good sign that you are aware it's not a 'I'm going to see if I can get her to leave him for me" situation and are being upfront.

It also allows you to acknowledge your lack of experience again-up front and allow him the opportunity as a friend to divulge to you some helpful hints on how NOT TO PISS HIM OFF or disrespect him in the dynamic.

Personally-if a woman came to me and told me that she was attracted to my husband and wanted to know how I felt about her approaching him I would be so damn impressed I would be inclined to set up the opportunity for her.
Furthermore-I would be more inclined to trust her and THEIR relationship and intentions if something did come of it.

Fuck-I'd be THRILLED to have a metamour who came about that way.

And as a wife-if someone went to my husband that way, and my boyfriend, I'd be VERY impressed by that as well-because their RESPECT for my already existing relationships would show me that they had MY BEST INTERESTS at heart.
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  #20  
Old 08-04-2012, 03:34 PM
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castle33 castle33 is offline
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I am dealing with the same issue. Only I am in "love" with my bestfriend's husband. I am a married poly woman. my husband is mono but willing to work at the poly side of himself. This couple means a lot to both of us. She is my BF and her husband in my guy's BF. I am sure that her husband has some feelings for me and my guy would love to explore more with the wife. I have picked up on little signals from her husband over the past few months. Things like lingering touches and "accidental" footsie. I say accidental because that's how it started... then he just let his foot stay in place one day. I did not notice it at first and I don't think he did. It was more of a comfort thing for us... i'm guessing. When we both realized that it was happening we didn't freak out. We actually got better at the game we were all playing (pictionary) and won. He has yet to mention it and he has not changed at all around me and the gang. He has started being himself though. As in, relaxing more. Like my guy and I are not company anymore but family. I love it. His wife is also acting this way. A while ago I flat out said "take my husband, please, you can have him anytime you want..." She just giggled. I know she thinks about it but recent life events have pushed her focus elsewhere. Family and whatnot. I would not even bring this up now. It is not the time. But I am thinking... and waiting.

They know how our relastionship is set up. Only the wife has talked about it with me and she thinks it's "different". She still likes us and trusts us around her family. That's why she is my best friend.

I want to express my feelings, openly, to them but I don't know how to go about it. My husband knows how I feel. Out of all this I am the only one that has "lived the lifestyle" so to say. I'm used to lots of crazy love bunches. I am just sitting on these feelings until I can talk to them about it. The wife knows that I have a crush on her husband. She thinks it's cute. But she also knows that I would not try anything. I think that is why she is comfortable with it. How do I let her know that I really would love to be more than friends... with both of them. I'm not a lesbian but I have fallen for women before and she is certainly 'fallable' in my book.

For the OP, I know how it feels. Not knowing when and what to do or say. Just keep it honest and remember that more than anything they are your friends. That is what I keep telling myself until I figure out what to do next.

Please keep us updated good Sir.
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