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Old 07-25-2013, 02:26 AM
catacomb catacomb is offline
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Default Hello - new to this, could use some advice

Hi,

I am new to this and could use some advice as to how to navigate these tricky waters.

I'm 32 years old, a married man and have somewhat recently found that I am bisexual. The difference I suppose between my case and many others is that I have been happily married to a man and was never with a woman and never had a relationship with one.

My husband (who is gay) and I have had an open relationship for years, although in the past it's been mostly him seeing other guys, and I was fine with that (my husband and I have sex very rarely, only a few times a year). I'm not as interested in having casual sex, I enjoy sex a lot more when I have more feelings for the other person.

A close female friend of ours has been interested in me for a while, and I her. I always thought that nothing could happen there due to my marriage, so in the past I had to lie to her and tell her I was not interested when in actuality I was. The open relationship agreement that me and my husband have is mostly about sex and not romance, but with the woman I have not only strong sexual attraction but I care about her deeply and have some romantic attraction.

My relationship with the woman has developed further recently. I've been communicating with my husband the entire time, and he seemed fine with it at first, but as things get more serious now he seems a bit uncomfortable because it's not just casual sex with a stranger. He knows that it's just his own discomfort with the situation, that he's not used to this, and says that 'we will see how things go'.

I love my husband more than anything, but I'm also really enjoying this new (perhaps undefinable) intimate and caring relationship with my female friend and don't want that to get derailed. I would appreciate some advice as to how I can help my husband become more comfortable with the situation.

Thanks.

Last edited by catacomb; 07-25-2013 at 02:41 AM.
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Old 07-25-2013, 07:48 PM
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Hello catacomb,
Welcome to our forum.

Your husband is the #1 responsible party for feeling more comfortable with the situation, and only he can do it in the end. The only thing I can think of is maybe he could join this website, maybe read some of the blogs on the Life stories and blogs board. This might ease some of the unfamiliarity for him. Things that are unfamiliar to us tend to make us more nervous.

Other things that might help:

"Opening Up" by Tristan Taormino
Franklin Veaux's poly pages

But ultimately, your husband will have to have a dialog with himself about how he feels about all this.

I hope things work out for you, it would be great if you and this other lady could get together.

Sincerely,
Kevin T.
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Old 08-24-2013, 01:03 AM
catacomb catacomb is offline
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Thanks Kevin.

Things have been going really well between me and her. There have been a few bumps in the road, but we are crazy about each other, and when we are together everything just feels fantastic. I believe people on here call that NRE.

My husband seems to not be budging on certain things though. He is perfectly fine with me having sex with her once or twice a week if I want (as he sometimes goes to the bathhouse to have sex with other men). However, I can't even put my arm around her with him around. He objects when he starts to feel like we are becoming 'girlfriend and boyfriend'. If I spend a certain amount of time doing activities other than sex with just her, he gets upset thinking we're becoming 'girlfriend and boyfriend', even though I spend tons of time with him alone as well. I tried talking to him about poly, but he thinks its 'unholy' (he's not religious at all) and was upset and told me he didn't want me to even say that word again. He said he thinks poly is wrong because it is a relationship that has to be kept secret to people. So, it's a little awkward... I am hoping he might warm up to the idea over time, but over the past couple months at least it hasn't seemed to happen yet.

What do I do?
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Old 08-25-2013, 12:53 AM
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You may need to do some communicating with your husband to get a better understanding about his reservations. "Unholy because you have to be in the closet" doesn't make sense; many people have had to hide aspects of themselves throughout history (e.g. witches in Medieval times) and that didn't mean what they were doing was wrong. Popular opinion is very often out of sync with true morality. Besides, gay people often have to be closeted to, and that certainly doesn't mean it's unholy to be gay. So what I mean is, your husband doesn't seem to be making sense about why he objects to this. I feel that he has deeper reservations about it that he is either reluctant to talk about, or perhaps not even completely aware of himself.

The objective at hand is not yet convincing him to become more comfortable with poly, it is convincing him to be willing to communicate about it. It's not very healthy for him to forbid you to even speak the word. I guess I would tell him that you feel like your ability to communicate is stifled right now, and that there are things you need to talk about as a couple.

You have certain rights and freedoms as a human being. Sometimes you have to gently but firmly assert those rights. All you would be asking right now is for him to explore his feelings more deeply with you. That's a reasonable thing to ask of a spouse. Without it, you're likely to end up with an ailing marriage.
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Old 08-25-2013, 06:07 AM
london london is offline
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You may have to accept that your husband's preferred form of non monogamy doesn't involve the emotional availiability that yours seems to. You seem to want a polyamorous relationship where you are allowed to love people other than him and he wants something more "open", where you just have sex with other people. The problem is, it might not be a case of your husband being unable to "let go" enough to have a poly relationship, this just might be all he ever wants and you trying to make him want more than that is unreasonable. If you really, really want this and he really, really doesn't, you might be at an impasse.
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Old 09-24-2013, 12:20 AM
catacomb catacomb is offline
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Thanks very much for your advice! It really helped.

Things are going better now - he is accepting of my relationship with her. I think he is realizing that me developing feelings for someone else is not going to make me love him less. Actually, sometimes when she comes over, he goes out with friends to give her and I some time alone (just to be nice and give us privacy, not out of anger or anything). Things between me and her are going really great.

I just have to make sure that I give him enough attention that he doesn't feel like the new girl is taking priority. It's a tricky balancing act sometimes.

Last edited by catacomb; 09-24-2013 at 12:23 AM.
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Old 09-25-2013, 03:32 AM
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Yes, NRE (New Relationship Energy) with a female friend is a wonderful thing, but it can leave one light-headed and forgetful of one's husband's needs and insecurities. Giving him extra attention is usually a must.

Sounds like great progress has been made in getting everyone used to the new dynamic. You'll probably make adjustments in your agreements over time. Have a sit-down once a week or once a month, update each other on how you're feeling, what needs/concerns you'd like to talk about, etc.

Meanwhile you always have Polyamory.com to help you with any questions.

Sincerely,
Kevin T.
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Old 01-17-2015, 09:08 PM
catacomb catacomb is offline
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Update: Could use some more advice; after a really good period, things fell apart quickly.

Things were going very well for a long time. Both my relationship with my husband and my relationship with her were going well. I had to do a long distance move with my husband, unfortunately, because of an opportunity that came up. It was about four months ago. She flew out to visit for a week during that time, which was really nice, and we kept in contact very frequently via video chat. All that time, she was always smiling on the video chat, so happy to see me, always sending hearts, etc.

I was back for Christmas with my husband and went to see her again. The video chats and contacts had ceased in the 3 weeks or so prior, but because I was having to work so much overtime at that point due to a big project, I wasn't really spending very much time on contacting her. She had messaged me before I came for Christmas and told me that she was moving out to my new city, which I was very happy about. I was so happy to see her again, and I got to her place. She seemed uncomfortable when I hugged her or touched her in the slightest way.

She then proceeded to explain that she had been seeing someone else, and was intimate with him, for nearly the previous month, and that things were so fantastic with him, much more than they had ever been with me; that he was so much better in bed than me, etc.. I asked why she didn't tell me before and she said that she didn't know yet until she saw me whether she still loved me and didn't decide to break up with me until after I was already over there to visit her. This new guy, by some astronomical event, ended up getting an opportunity in the same city that I did, a long distance away, and she was moving to be with him.

I felt very hurt - I obviously didn't mind her being with that guy, as we were clear that we could see other people. Instead, I was hurt because of the fact that she did not tell me before that she was seeing him, and the fact that she suddenly decided to dump me after the NRE was flying high with this new guy. I wouldn't have been upset if she had told me sooner that she was seeing someone else as well, but the fact that she held it back and then dumped me, potentially due to the NRE, makes me uncomfortable. I did not get mad at her or yell at her or say anything hurtful, I tried to be as cordial as possible and say I was happy for her.

Since we were always best friends, she wants to remain friends, and now she is living in the same city as me, living with this other guy. I am still in love with her though. I'm not sure I'm comfortable seeing her just yet, even though I want the same, to remain friends. I am happy for her, that she is happy, but I'm still feeling quite sad and hurt about all this, not exactly sure what to do. Having my husband close has helped, but there is still a strong sense of loss, because the relationships were very different from one another.

(In hindsight, of course, things were not perfect. She and my husband sometimes rubbed each other the wrong way. She felt uncomfortable with the situation. Those contributed to all this.)

This is the first time I've had to deal with a break up of a relationship of any length; my only other relationship of any length was with my husband, which is still going strong. I am still poly, that will never change, and would eventually like to have another relationship with a woman, but probably not at this exact instant. I could use some advice from others as to how to what to do now.

Thanks.
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Old 01-18-2015, 12:41 AM
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Hi catacomb,

I don't know of much advice to give you, other than the simple and obvious. You are not feeling comfortable about seeing your now-ex who's still a friend, therefore you should wait before going to see her again. Perhaps before you feel comfortable enough to see her, you'll feel up to emailing her, or even doing a video chat with her.

It takes time to heal from something like this, so you have to be patient. Patient with yourself, and patient with the process. Try to find some other things to get your mind on so that you don't think about the breakup so much.

Your friend kind of hurt your feelings in the way that she broke up with you, giving you no warning ahead of time and then just dumping it all on you like a ton of bricks. Perhaps part of the healing process you'll need to go through is learning to forgive her. Perhaps at some point you'll want to explain to her why and how you were hurt. Who knows.

Don't try to rush anything, and don't make any big decisions while you're very upset. Give yourself some time to heal a little before you try to have much interaction with her, one way or another.

Sorry to hear that happened to you.
Sincerely,
Kevin T.
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Old 01-18-2015, 01:26 AM
catacomb catacomb is offline
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Thanks Kevin. I guess I really didn't need 'advice' per se but I just felt like I had nobody to talk to about this, which makes it harder to deal with. From my husband, I just get the fake "aww" as though he is sad about it, since now it means he has me all to himself so he is happy about it, and none of my new local friends know about this. It was nice to be able to share it with someone, even if they are just online. Thank you for that.

Last edited by catacomb; 01-18-2015 at 01:33 AM. Reason: clarification
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