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  #11  
Old 08-21-2012, 01:40 PM
Gary Gary is offline
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Originally Posted by 1of4 View Post
I just wanted to say hello. Our quad relationship with our best friends in the world is much newer (14 months now), but I totally relate with feeling incredibly blessed. The relationship my husband and I (married 20+ years) have with our friends (married 15+ years) is very special and I suspect very rare. We are only "out" to a few friends, so don't really have any objective parties outside of the quad to talk to about it. If any of you ever want to talk, it would be great to have others to talk to who actually understand some of the issues that quads face.
Sounds like we have much in common. Curious...were you and your husband open to the idea of poly before becoming intimate with your friends or did the relationship change your thinking?
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  #12  
Old 08-21-2012, 05:15 PM
1of4 1of4 is offline
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Originally Posted by Gary View Post
Sounds like we have much in common. Curious...were you and your husband open to the idea of poly before becoming intimate with your friends or did the relationship change your thinking?
Honestly, we had never even heard of polyamory. Like "marriedwithbenefits" we had "dabbled" in swinging a little bit. Just very, very mild soft swinging...a couple of encounters over the six months or so prior to meeting our friends...as a way to explore some fantasies.

We actually met them on a swinger website. But by that time, my husband and I had pretty much decided swinging wasn't really for us and we weren't going to pursue it anymore. Could tell they were nice people from their emails though, and they were brand new, so we got together for drinks one night with just the intention of answering questions for them and telling them about some of the local swinger groups. But sure enough, we hit it off, and well, the rest is history.

But the fact that we came at it through swinging has introduced some interesting dynamics. We've now been exclusive since the first time we met and are all well aware that this thing called "poly" exists in the world, we spend nights at each others houses every weekend, talk every day, miss each other when we are apart, have traveled together, have integrated each other into our lives (meeting families and other friends)...and yet have never discussed the fact that what we have is far closer to poly than swinging.

You mentioned that you have had to deal with issues and challenges. We've certainly had those as well. But you have many more years invested in your quad relationship. I have a feeling I/we could learn a lot from you. I'd love to know more if you are open to sharing.

I have to say, reading about a quad that has been successful and happy for so many years makes me optimistic! We are definitely happy and so far successful, but the fact that I haven't been able to find many stories of quad relationships that have worked in the long term has worried me a little.
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  #13  
Old 08-21-2012, 05:32 PM
Gary Gary is offline
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Originally Posted by 1of4 View Post

You mentioned that you have had to deal with issues and challenges. We've certainly had those as well. But you have many more years invested in your quad relationship. I have a feeling I/we could learn a lot from you. I'd love to know more if you are open to sharing.

I have to say, reading about a quad that has been successful and happy for so many years makes me optimistic! We are definitely happy and so far successful, but the fact that I haven't been able to find many stories of quad relationships that have worked in the long term has worried me a little.
Would be happy to share more. Ask anything you think might be helpful. We came from a fundamental religious background so we had the ethical questions that came up a couple of times. we are still believers...but have found MUCH freedom scripturally for our lifestyle that that is no longer an issue at all. The other challenges have been when one couple or the other is squabbling and how much interaction/intervention is appropriate at these times. We have found a balance I think and it works well for us. We benefit from the additional players in the mix as squabbles seem easier to resolve. We have found 4 are even more unbreakable than 2 if you know what I mean.
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  #14  
Old 08-21-2012, 05:38 PM
marriedwithbenefits marriedwithbenefits is offline
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I would be happy to share as well. I agree with Gary that the 4 us have become more unbreakable than 2, not that it hasnt been diffucult at times but always worth it in the end, just ask away and I will share our take on things!
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  #15  
Old 08-22-2012, 12:52 PM
1of4 1of4 is offline
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Thanks both Gary and MWB. It is so cool to have found two people in two separate long-term quad relationships. I had my husband read through this thread last night too. Its nice to know we aren't alone in the world. We have a lot of fun when we go out together or travel together (especially to places where we don't know anyone and feel more free to be open about the quad we are), but it's hard not to notice that we are "different" and hard not to be able to talk about it with anyone...not to be open with family and friends.

I don't know if we have any concrete questions. It is more just a general feeling of wanting to talk about some of what we've experienced to other people who would understand.

We've dealt with and overcome jealousy (my husband had issues with that at first) and we've each of us had to overcome bouts of mild insecurity that has manifested in different ways for each of us. I think those are the biggest "problems" we've had so far.

Logistics is an issue at times. I wish we lived close like all of you do! We live an hour or so apart which is a challenge at times. We usually go stay at their house for a couple of days each weekend or they come to ours and stay. Our child is grown and out of the house but they still have a child in elementary school, so that presents its own challenges too.

Gary, I relate to our comments about being Christian and the moral questions. We've dealt with and resolved those as well. I can't reveal any more about it than this, but one of us is particularly involved in our church which is an ongoing issue for us. If for no other reason, we'll never be able to be fully "out" for that reason.

Right now my biggest question is how to talk about the elephant in the room...the fact that this relationship has become very deep and meaningful and what exactly that might mean in terms of exclusivity. There wouldn't be any urgency except that almost a year ago we booked a trip together to a resort that is well known as being a resort for swingers. That trip is coming up in a few weeks and I'm afraid that if we don't at least talk about it and what each of us is expecting before then, that there could be some seriously hurt feelings. But at the same time I hesitate to be the one to bring it up because it kind of pushes things to the next level. My husband and I love the way things are right now and wouldn't change a thing (besides that it would be nice to live closer), but both want to know if they've been exclusive because that is what they want or if it has been more by default. But having that conversation almost makes it sound like we are pushing for a commitment, which I don't really think we are, so it is weird. Ugh.

When things began to be serious and you all had to discuss it, do you mind if I ask who brought it up and how did that conversation go? In other words, when you realized you were developing real feelings/love for each other and had to discuss all the issues of open relationships, swinging (MWB?) vs polyamory, and exclusivity? I just feel like we've been living in this perfect little fantasy world for the past 14 months where we could just go with the flow and not worry about it, but have now come to a point that we have to talk about it, and I'm not sure how to do that.

Last edited by 1of4; 08-22-2012 at 01:06 PM. Reason: clarification
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  #16  
Old 08-22-2012, 05:24 PM
1of4 1of4 is offline
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I was thinking a bit more about this. It isn't at all a matter of talking about this with them. It obviously needs to be done and we'll find the words to do it. We have strong communication between us about everything else, so we'll manage this too.

The larger issue is just more about finding our boundaries and learning how to be a part of this quad and keep the relationships healthy. In a more typical relationship, after 14 months most people would be thinking about progressing the relationship in some way, and you could look around you and see all sorts of couples to model that relationship on. As a quad, none of us know anybody with anything even close to what we have. We're just making the rules up as we go and sometimes figuring things out on the fly. The relationship we have now may never progress. It may always be just what it is now and nothing more. And that's okay. It's just different than what I'm used to, and this process of trying to figure out how to operate within that framework is really confusing at times. Hope that makes sense.
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  #17  
Old 08-22-2012, 05:55 PM
marriedwithbenefits marriedwithbenefits is offline
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Ugh- i typed a whole long response and something happened and its gone! jeez. anyway, it makes sense what you said, what wound up happening with us is that we set a date and time to talk about how each of us felt and what we were looking for from the realtionship. my husband and I discussed it amonst ourselves and the other couple did too first and we all were able set boundaries and limits and were very open about the rules, contact, etc. (we dont sleep at each others houses and when we travel we sleep with our spouses, we set time limits 3 hours, 20 minutes whatever we could sqeeze in etc) it took a while to work out but it did. and still does.
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  #18  
Old 08-22-2012, 05:57 PM
Gary Gary is offline
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Originally Posted by 1of4 View Post
When things began to be serious and you all had to discuss it, do you mind if I ask who brought it up and how did that conversation go? In other words, when you realized you were developing real feelings/love for each other and had to discuss all the issues of open relationships, swinging (MWB?) vs polyamory, and exclusivity? I just feel like we've been living in this perfect little fantasy world for the past 14 months where we could just go with the flow and not worry about it, but have now come to a point that we have to talk about it, and I'm not sure how to do that.
Great question. For us swinging or a swinging mindset was never part of the equation and is not something we presently consider. Our relationship evolved out of a very strong foundational friendship. None of us was looking for partners in a poly mindset because none of us were or even knew we could be poly. In fact the real serious discussion about where do we go from here happened AFTER the sex. As we grew more and more intimate we reached a point where sexual exploration became a natural progression. But even at present, after nearly 6 years, none of us feels in any way interested in swinging. We are very invested in the emotional security of our exclusive quad.

For us this works because our objective and expectations are in alignment. Perhaps you all need to have the kind of discussion as to what you really do expect/want from your quad. Is exclusiveness the goal or are some/all of you open to exploring other relationships. I know some blend poly and swinging in the sense of remaining exclusive emotionally to the poly group but will allow recreational sexual activity without the emotional attachment outside of the primary group. For me this would represent a genuine struggle. How can one play sexually without risking an emotional attachment? For us this would make the whole dynamic weaker and very susceptible to failure.
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  #19  
Old 08-22-2012, 09:12 PM
marriedwithbenefits marriedwithbenefits is offline
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i agree with Gary.... although we dabbled in swinging that ended with the commitment to J & B. the evolution just sort of happened and we talked a lot about it, it sort of fell on the husband of the other 2 and myself to be the communicators. we talk everyday, and when things have been rough, he and I work it out first. In the first few years just the 4 of us hung out and vacationed almost exclusively but over time various other family members have moved closer, started going on trips (we camp a lot) and now we are up to almost always having others around us, plus we both have teenagers. Since we cant really be open to anyone we have had to make major adjustments over time, so the way it is now is that we plan trips a few times a year, don't tell anyone and try to escape, LOL, its not ideal but we also have always really enjoyed just spending time together and its fun to talk about where to go next with the anticipation of what that means for us, we talk about everything and we know for now things are limited, with sex occasionally and that's ok. its more about the 4 of us as a poly unit. so as far as your progression goes and as far as your trip goes, i agree you need to be on the same page. I would say communication is key
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  #20  
Old 08-23-2012, 05:18 PM
1of4 1of4 is offline
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Thank you so, so much. It is so helpful to hear how you have each dealt with things. And also so interesting to read how we have all set up our relationships in similar ways and also different ways. After reading your answers, my husband and I had a great talk last night that really clarified where we are and what our hopes are for ourselves and for the quad. And now we both feel in a much stronger position to go back to our friends and have a similar talk. We think they are in the same place we are. Though the fear, of course, though we highly doubt this, is that we'll find out they aren't. Still, if that's the case we need to know that so we can hopefully figure out something that works for all of us.

As challenging as it is at times I really feel so incredibly blessed to have this couple in our lives. I wake up most mornings and just smile at how remarkable and unbelievable this all is. And I can already tell that reading your stories and knowing that you've been able to maintain your relationships and are still so happy years later will help me quit worrying about the future.

Hope we can all stay in touch. I don't have nearly the experience of you folks, but I'm a good listener if either of you ever want to "talk."
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