Need advice from some people more experienced in poly relationships.
Hello I just joined this forum looking for some advice.
My basic profile.
I am male, 41, and a professional who works from home with a solid job. I am married to a wonderful, caring, considerate woman who is the sole reason I am where I am today. We have two adopted children (2 and 7) and we live happily here in our home.
As a little history for myself.
I have had two serious relationships in my life including my current marriage. In my previous relationship my girlfriend of the time ended up becoming emotionally attached to my best friend at the time. After a number of heartfelt open discussions we all agreed we could be adults about the situation and see where things went. We formed what I think is referred to as a Triad with my GF forming the center. Bother my friend and I were straight so aside from friendship there was nothing to between he and I. This led to two of the worst years of my life. My GF was a very self centered poly. She very rarely considered the feelings of the partner and commonly excluded one or the other of us so rather than feeling like a cooperative relationship - it was like a competition. There were other stresses on the relationships as well but eventually I walked away.
Wisely or unwisely I walked straight into a new relationship with a younger woman (I was 25 and she was 19). She was Bi although nothing ever came of that. Within a year we were married and we have now been married for 15+ years. I know that we have both been very happy through our marriage.
Now at the age of 36 my wife has found herself increasingly attracted to women and less attracted to men (in general - not just me). She feels like her Bi-Sexual side is becoming more pronounced.
Our relationships solidity is built on our communication. We express our feelings and thoughts when something is bothering us so it was only natural that one night after the kids were settled she brought this issue up. She expressed the idea that she would very much "like a girlfriend" outside our marriage. Surprisingly I was not hurt or nervous about this. I thought about it a little and I agreed that would be OK as long as it didn't impact the kids or our marriage negatively, like if she ended up finding a GF who was abusive or otherwise disruptive. I didn't ask for a menage au trois and when she put it on the table I told her that if/when she found someone special enough that she wanted to bring them into our shared life that I would not be opposed but that it was in no way a condition on the situation.
After sleeping on it I initiated another conversation. I did have two things to ask. Not conditions as I would not "impose" my will in this but I would ask and hope that she would consent. Firstly I asked, because of my previous poly experience, that she limit her search to other women. I felt threatened by the thought of her with another man. Secondly, I felt like if she were allowed to go outside the marriage that to be fair, it should be both ways and if circumstances permitted so should I be allowed a partner outside the marriage. The only real issue here is that it's a bit of a double standard because I'm straight and so if I were to seek a special friend, it would be with a woman.
She agreed to both requests without hesitation.
Now, I don't have any great desire to find another relationship. I am happy with things as they are, but it felt better knowing that it went both ways.
Since then several things have come about:
So I am looking for some thoughts from a community experienced in Poly.
AM I being unreasonable in my request that she limit herself to women? My wife does not identify as Poly but strictly as Bi and says she is seeking something I cannot provide but that she wants to remain with me as her spouse. After a lot of reading our relationship is looking to become polyamorous and I am okay with that in general. The issue I see with our current arrangement is that she cannot have a relationship with a member of the opposite sex whereas I can. Is this unfair?
Should I start trying to "get over" my feelings of discomfort with the thoughts of her with another man?
We definitely need to have more conversation about this - but I want to have a better understanding of what other people who are more experienced in this sort of thing think.
Thanks for any replies.