A MUCH longer version of my intro post:
Hey, all. So, yeah, I'm new here. And yeah, I'm new to poly. I think I'm probably somewhat unusual in that my wife and I, high school sweethearts, practicing Catholics, and fantastically mutually satisfied lovers, have been together and happily monogamous for a decade before even considering "opening up." And no, it wasn't my idea.
When we met, she was 15 and I was 17. We didn't get married until 4 years later, but we waited for marriage to have sex (though there was some messing around before that) because she was a devoutly religious person, raised in a crazy rightwing baptist household, and was very, very cautious. We were and continue to be best friends, we are each others' favorite people, and we have survived some epic, herculean trials that have only brought us closer over the years. Special needs kids financial troubles, even taking care of a newly disabled family member for over a year who occasionally had violent rages and suicidal moments, which had quite an impact on our home life.
All this stuff that stacks the odds against you, we've survived. Apparently 30% of couples where one has a sudden sexual identity/orientation revelation (like Wifey realizing she was bi) break up immediately, and another 30% or so break up within two years, but we've been together longer than that since, and we're still going strong.
Through it all we grew closer. Our sex life has been fantastic throughout, in ways most people wouldn't believe. We used it as bonding and emotional shelter in the hard times, as a joyous hobby in the good times, and explored BSDM both in private and in somewhat less-than-private spaces. We liken our relationship to two sapling trees wound about each other, grown together and inseparable. When we met, she was so sheltered that she'd had zero sexual contact with anyone, and because of that, I am at the root of her sexual expression. We walked through babysteps from hand-holding to our first kiss to everything beyond, taking a long time for her to get comfortable with each step. We were friends for a year before any of that even started. I taught her how to climax, and, when she was ready to ask for things, she taught me how to spank her. We grew and learned together, we lost our virginity together on our wedding night (well, afternoon; we were in kind of a hurry by then), and have been with nobody else since.
Things are better now. We're financially back on our feet, the kids are improving, we don't take care of that family member anymore, and our sex life is still great. So why take a look at poly? Well, a couple years ago, my wife came to the realization that she was bi. It didn't change anything in our relationship because, well, we were married and happy, and there was nobody she wanted besides me, despite this sudden understanding that tits are nice.
So she knew she was bi, but nothing changed besides how she watched porn with me (not an everyday occurrence, but one that was different after than before), or the things she noticed about the people around her. And then through her work, she met "Jane Doe," as I'll call her. Jane is a bright and entertaining creature, and she and Wifey struck up a quick, casual friendship. Jane had a boyfriend, John Doe (no relation), who she'd been with for a couple years, and they were fun to be around. Eventually, through the proximity of people who work and commute together and hang out for fun besides all that, Wifey saw Jane hugging someone goodbye one morning outside J&J's apartment who was not John. Jane confided to Wifey that this person was her "other sweetie," and that John has a few of those, himself.
Well, it threw us both for a loop, as we'd never been close to anyone who admitted to being poly before (though we've encountered it in a couple disconnected social circles), but again, nothing changed between Wifey and I. Eventually, through working together on a daily basis for a long time (over a year), Wifey and Jane formed a very deep, real friendship, the kind that literally takes years of cooperation and sharing to form. And in the course of that friendship blossoming, something else started to grow in Wifey's heart. Actual attraction to a person besides myself, beyond superficially noticing "oh, that's pretty," had never happened to Wifey before, if you can believe that. So we started talking about it. We asked ourselves and each other some really hard questions, did some painful introspection, and it's now my turn to read Tristan Taormino's Opening Up, after Jane passed it to Wifey.
And that's how I landed here. They've held hands and snuggled on a couch, kissed a couple times, but nothing major. I think Wifey doesn't know how to make a move, and wants to go as slow with Jane as she did with me. Jane seems terrified of starting something romantic with someone already so involved in her life on so many levels and so deeply connected to how she functions on a day-to-day basis (they're not quite but practically business partners), but maybe interested in possibly exploring it (like I said, she's skittish).
I've examined my fears, explored them, and bared them entirely to Wifey. She wept when she realized how hard that was for me. She offered to take it all back and just close that door in herself, never think about it again. I don't know how possible that actually is, though. In any case, she spent a long time listening to my fears, comforting me, and telling me how this was different and separate from our relationship, and I think I get that. She tells me that I am family and tribe, that I am in her bones and her need for me is inherent and part of her character.
No, I'm not looking to get a "hall pass" of some sort out of this. Sure, I have lecherous thoughts about other women, I notice them, but I don't really want them. I guess what I want is for Wifey to be happy. I don't see myself as cuckolded or disrespected or cheated on. This isn't about Wifey needing sex with other people to find something like happiness and me being a sad sack of shit along for the ride. I like and trust Jane, and none of this is about something I'm failing to give Wifey. This isn't something that could conceivably happen a lot, given Wifey's slowness to enter trusting relationships, much less physical ones. I don't feel disrespected because I know how much respect they have for each other, and for me, and I have respect for them as well. I don't feel cheated on or ignored because I'm not; I've been a part of this process.
I want Wifey to better understand and be comfortable with this part of herself, I don't want to have deprived her of something this . . . momentous? Basic? I find it hard to articulate how exactly Wifey's identity as bisexual makes this easier for me, but it does. And not in the way that Jane being female makes it easier, which is a different factor, though that helps, too. My beautiful, lively, vibrant wife, thoroughly sexual creature that she is, should have something like this experience, in a way she and I are both comfortable with, and this seems to be that opportunity.
Compersion is a funny thing. It still irritates my spell-checker, for one. Made-up words don't generally sit well with literary-minded people. But this one seems to fit my experience. I've seen my wife blush and be giddy, shuffle her feet and be shy. I'm getting to see all the flustered reactions she hid from me when I was courting her, from the perspective of most trusted confidant. She was leaning up against me on a couch the first time they held hands, listening to a musical performance, and it was so nice a moment I had to pull out my phone to record the show because I figured Wifey would like to have that saved for later. First time we held hands was during a Fourth of July fireworks show, and it was very memorable, and I thought this should be, too. We have that recording of mine, and we bought the CD.
For going on two years now, I've seen Jane as an ally in making Wifey smile, an ally in relieving her loneliness or stress or fear. This doesn't change that. Jane is good for Wifey, and in no way a threat to me or my relationship with my her. Though I'm sure I'll occasionally need reassurance on that in weaker moments, I know it to be true.
We've only been talking about this, from Wifey's first admission to me that she wanted to kiss Jane, for a few weeks.
So. Questions? Comments?
(Side note, this is attempt #3 of posting this. Apparently, I was too new a user to post something this long the first two times I tried, and now that I have more posts under my username, I'm hoping this one goes through ok)
Last edited by Moose17; 12-24-2012 at 03:14 PM.