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Old 03-27-2013, 04:55 PM
WhatHappened WhatHappened is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 926
Default Question for primaries, Outside partners enhance marriage

Since I started seeing BF about 18 months ago--my only experience with polyamory, only time I've ever known anyone in an open marriage (that I know of)--I have done a lot of reading on polyamory and open marriages.

BF said from the start that problems usually arise when, like us, one person is married and the other single. So far, it's suited me, because I'm busy with work and children, wasn't looking for a boyfriend, and have no desire for a husband. I've enjoyed every minute with him, I have seen both of us grow, change, and, I believe, become better people as a result of our time together.

The only issues between us have involved him getting upset when I try to understand this world that's totally unfamiliar to me and question my place in his life and what this really means to him. He lives in fear of me breaking up with him.

The times I feel most inclined to break up with him is when I'm reading about open marriages and/or polyamory and read the statement that outside relationships enhance the primary relationship. As the outside relationship, this leaves me feeling that these extra relationships are, well...marital enhancers. Living, breathing marital aids. I, personally, have no desire to enhance someone's marriage at what could be seen as a cost to myself (the cost being that there is no future in this relationship, although at this stage I admittedly don't want one--one day I might.)

I do not believe for a minute that BF sees me as that. But he gets agitated when I try to understand from him how people in open marriage do see their OSOs, and apparently can't explain, although he's normally well-spoken, articulate, and thoughtful. He says I should know I'm not just a side dish to him and don't I know how he feels about me. He tells me what we have is 'the real deal.' Whatever that means in the context of a relationship that can never be more than what it is now.

So...I still struggle with that idea that outside relationships 'enhance' the primary relationship. Can those members who are in primary relationships, especially those whose OSOs are single, tell me their response to this comment on OSOs enhancing your primary relationship, and how that balances with seeing your secondary/OSO as a person in their own right?

Last edited by WhatHappened; 03-27-2013 at 04:57 PM. Reason: clarification
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