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Old 03-21-2013, 07:35 PM
Nox Nox is offline
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Default Hello. Want to share (mono->poly)

Hi, I'm Dave. I came across this board on a recommendation from a non-related message board. She was really helpful with a lot of information. All the names and classifications are new to me, but everything has really fit into place. I'm not sure if I'm looking for advice or commiseration, but I find it always helps me to put things into words.

So, my wife (U) and I have been happily married for 16 years and living together a few before that. We really haven't had ups and downs. We communicate very well. I'm very open with my feelings, and typically I can get her to tell me hers. I love her deeply, unconditionally, and more in the last 4-5 months than I can remember.

TL/DR version is in the last paragraph if you want to skip ahead.

That being said, we did have a mini-crisis many years ago. Her sex drive is no where near what mine is. While I did not cheat on her in person, I did online by ommission. I suspected it wouldn't bother her, but I didn't actually ask until after. At the time, I gave her the option of more sex, seeing a counselor, or letting me play online. She chose option 3.

This has gone on for about 10 years. And over that time I've discovered it's really attention that I need, not the sex, though sex is a good way to get the attention. Her need in that isn't as great as mine either. This came to a head two summers ago. She went on a two week trip to visit her mother and sister, and I stayed home. During that time her communication with me was brief to non-existent. I was really hurt and decided we had to see a counselor. The good news is that the counselor pronounced us a happy couple, but has been working with my wife to help her find ways to express herself.

Also during that time I met an incredible woman online (T). She's not within any kind of driving distance, and we are both tied professionally and personally to our locations, with no interest in changing them. Within 6 months I knew I was falling for her. She's definitely poly and has at least 5 loves, though she's only open about it with me as far as I know. It is an online community, and we went "public" with us about six months ago. Since then we have gotten even closer. Explored a lot of virtual fantasy. We've been on cam. Exchanged sexual pictures, etc. My wife is completely aware of all of it and doesn't seem the least bit threatened. While she's good at not sharing her feelings, she's not good at hiding them, so I'm 100% sure she's comfortable with the current situation.

Sounds great right? Of course not, or I wouldn't be here. This summer I will be in her town and with the wife's consent T and I will be having dinner. The complication is that I want to be real life physically intimate with her and the wife says no.

This bothers me on a couple levels:
1) My wife and I have had a long standing policy of not forbidding the other anything. We can voice displeasure. We can say how much it would hurt us. Etc. But we have always had an incredible communication and respect for each other.

2) I'm scared it's going to hurt my relationship with T. The possibility of a physical relationship, even if it was remote, even if it was rare, was always a goal. Relationships that don't grow stagnate and die.

TL/DR version:
I would like to add a single already known real life sex partner to my current marriage. I feel justified since there's been plenty of already approved intimacy, and wife's objection is "because I say no." I am not willing to risk my marriage for a night of sex, so she knows she doesn't really have to accomodate me. Am I justified? Is it ok to persuade her? When does it cross from a reasonable request to unreasonable coersion? Am I not justified since I signed up for monogamy in the first place?

Anyway, thank you for listening, and thank you for the community. I can already see there's a lot of support here.
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Old 03-22-2013, 03:15 PM
Nox Nox is offline
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Update:

Wife and I had what will likely be the first of many conversations. She feels (rightly) that I want to break a deal that we had, and that betrayal is part of the pain.

She identified with one of the asexual threads on here. While her drive is on the low end, though, she does derive pleasure from sex. She enjoys erotic literature (sex fantasies, not just romance novels), she's adventurous, but by the same token she'd be quite content to have sex once a month.

I did make the offer to break it off with T, but that was rejected without any consideration. A little laugh about how that would feel good right now, but it's really not the true issue, and wife wouldn't want me to be sad from losing someone that important to me.

I feel a lot better about the situation. I'm really lucky to have both of them. Both of them fit perfectly into my life.

edit: I thought of some other questions. I'm sure going from an online relationship to a local one is night and day. Has anyone had the experience of going from an online relationship to a long distance one? Even in a perfect scenario, I doubt T and would be able to get together more than twice a year. I would assume that transition would be relatively minor, but things are often as simple as we want them to be.

Last edited by Nox; 03-22-2013 at 03:54 PM. Reason: another question
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Old 03-22-2013, 08:16 PM
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kdt26417 kdt26417 is offline
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Hello evad,
Welcome to our forum.

I don't see any problem with trying to persuade your wife to change her mind about the real-life sex thing. However, if she remains unpersuaded and still says no, you probably either have to abide by what she says, or start thinking about a divorce. As far as "hurting your relationship with T because of the no-sex thing," I would think that if you explained the situation to T, she would understand and support your position. Sure relationships need to grow, but that doesn't always mean sex, we all have platonic relationships that do just fine without sex.

I have not personally had any online romances, much less one that transitioned into an long-distance relationship. So I can't provide you with much advice about that. I think LDR's tend to be challenging, and need lots of communication while you're apart.

Sorry there are no easy answers that I know of. Hopefully you and your wife can continue to have conversations that clear things up and smooth over some of the roughness.

Have a look around on our site, and post your thoughts, questions, and concerns as they come to you.

Regards,
Kevin T.
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Old 03-23-2013, 05:47 AM
Nox Nox is offline
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Quote:
I don't see any problem with trying to persuade your wife to change her mind about the real-life sex thing. However, if she remains unpersuaded and still says no, you probably either have to abide by what she says, or start thinking about a divorce.
Indeed. There will be no cheating, and if there were, a divorce would be around the corner. I have no interest in that.

Quote:
As far as "hurting your relationship with T because of the no-sex thing," I would think that if you explained the situation to T, she would understand and support your position. Sure relationships need to grow, but that doesn't always mean sex, we all have platonic relationships that do just fine without sex.
She does. And you're right. It would just evolve. She's not even very comfortable with it since she knows my wife is uncomfortable.

Quote:
I have not personally had any online romances, much less one that transitioned into an long-distance relationship. So I can't provide you with much advice about that. I think LDR's tend to be challenging, and need lots of communication while you're apart.
Luckily, we text for hours a day and then cam a few hours a week. We do a lot of communication.

Thanks for the feedback. It's been really fun and interesting getting validation for my outlook.
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Old 03-23-2013, 08:16 PM
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Glad to help; keep us posted.
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Old 03-27-2013, 03:49 AM
turtleHeart turtleHeart is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evad View Post
The possibility of a physical relationship, even if it was remote, even if it was rare, was always a goal.
Was this part clear to your wife from the beginning of your relationship with T? I wonder if your wife was ok with things happening online in part because she felt secure that sex in real life wasn't an option between you and T.
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Old 03-27-2013, 04:56 AM
Nox Nox is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turtleHeart View Post
Was this part clear to your wife from the beginning of your relationship with T? I wonder if your wife was ok with things happening online in part because she felt secure that sex in real life wasn't an option between you and T.
It wasn't clear because it wasn't clear to me. I never expected it to happen, and certainly didn't set out to happen. That's not the way online relationships go They go on for a while, maybe a few months at most, and then people get bored or find a real life partner or fix whatever was wrong in their life that drives them online.

21 months after that was supposed to happen T and I are getting even better and closer.

And you absolutely hit the nail on the head. During our last conversation, she said it felt like I was renegging on a promise. I completely understand. But, that's something we can work around.
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Old 03-27-2013, 01:35 PM
Nadya Nadya is offline
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Hi there, and welcome to the forum. I am relatively new here, too, but not new to non-monogamy. In your story there are a few points that I can easily relate to. Here are some parts of my journey that came to my mind when reading your story:

Firstly, the mono-poly part. Though my relationship with my husband (CJ) never was monogamous, there has been a lot of discussion about it, and he has assumed many things that never were said. He was new to non-monogamy when we met, but knew all too well all sides of the mono cheating stuff. Our relationship was open from the very beginning, and we were both active on the dating scene and seeing other people as well. As the relationship evolved to something more and more meaningful, he assumed that we won't be open any more; that the "being open" was a kind of "try before you buy" thing. So I had to make sure he understood it really is going to be open.

The next crisis was after we got married, though luckily only on a discussions level. That was a second time he assumed that the openness was all done with; without us ever having a discussion about it. Anyway, we managed to talk through that as well. I will always remember the horrible shock I went through as I realised his assumptions and thought that our marriage had been built on false premises altogether...

Each of my short time relationships have been a crisis, as well. Nothing huge, but a lot of communication and jealousy management has been required. Now as I have found someone I wish will stay in my life (my lover Mark), there is a new crisis: our marriage moving from "open" state to "polyship" state. It has required this time less talk and more action to confirm CJ that he will not be forgotten or loved less even though I have an OSO now. Also, I have been proceeding in my relationship with Mark in a pace that CJ can cope with.

So I do not have experience of changing from mono to poly, but have sure had my share of changes in the status of my relationships. No, I do not think there is anything morally wrong about you continuing your discussions with your wife about the possible change in your marriage.

Secondly, the online relationship changing to a LDR - though in my case the distance is not that long. We had an online relationship for several months before the first date, and it never was sure that we will meet IRL though the meeting was easy enough to arrange for the practical reasons. I just did not know if and when my husband would be ready for any of my possible new relationships. But as the "miracle" happened and I met Mark, it felt immediately like we had known each other for ages... Simple and easy. So far the change has been smooth and natural, no fuss whatsoever.

Hope it was helpful, in any way. Feel free to ask more either here or through PM.
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Old 03-27-2013, 02:19 PM
Nox Nox is offline
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Thank you both, Nadya and turtleHeart, for the replies.

Nadya, how has CJ been able to adjust? I think my wife would be able to as I've made no secret of what I'm doing. I've told her about everything from the beginning if I thought it was relevant. Even some of the stuff that hasn't been relevant (probably too much, but she's awesome and least pretends to listen attentively). The only time she got bothered was when I was moping like a teenage girl in a very early online relationship.

Things seem to be ok, but I have been avoiding the issue with the wife. Even though I will pursue it, it has to be relaxed and comfortable. I'm not going to badger or beg.

I did give her a way to relate, I think, and it seems a useful construct. I have a bucket that's full of love that I need to get rid of. I give as much as my can to my wife. While she accepts it, mine constantly refills. When she's full to the brim and overflowing, it's just all wasted, and I don't get a return. That's why I need T. I've got all this extra love that I have to give out and she can accept it. I'd rather give to the wife, but she can only receive what she can recieve no matter how much she'd like to accomodate me or how much she tries. Once she reaches her limit of attention, it becomes work, not love.

Then it's just a matter of the different forms of love (touch, acts of service, words of affirmation, gifts, quality time - if you're a subscriber to the 5 love languages as I am), and I want to be able to touch T, since all the others have been used so well.
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Old 03-27-2013, 06:36 PM
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I'm a pretty big fan of the Five-Love-Languages philosophy. So simple, and yet surprising, to realize that we have different ways of sending and receiving messages of love.

It sounds like there's some chance your wife may eventually be okay with the poly thing, which is good to hear. But I'm tempering my hopes because I know she's not quite there yet, and there's a chance she may hit a brick wall in that direction and not go any further.

I think you're wise to "not overdo" the talking about it, as that way your wife has more time to think about things before she has to respond to your requests about it. If you continue to talk to her about it a little now and then, that will probably suffice for the most part.

I'll keep my fingers crossed for you.
Sincerely,
Kevin T.
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