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Old 04-29-2011, 07:22 PM
StillaStudent StillaStudent is offline
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Hey guys, new to the forum here.

I've been with my wife for about 7 years. I'm in my early 30's, she's in her mid 20's. About 4 months ago my wife asked permission to sleep with a mutual friend. We both expected this to be a "friends with benefits" situation. She has since fallen in love with the guy and so we are now working our way into the polyamory world. This has caused a major strain on our relationship and my feelings toward her. But I suppose this is an intro forum so I'll leave it at that.
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Old 04-29-2011, 09:26 PM
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Originally Posted by StillaStudent View Post
This has caused a major strain on our relationship and my feelings toward her. But I suppose this is an intro forum so I'll leave it at that.
Your intro can be as long as you like. It's your intro. Since
Quote:
this has caused a major strain on our relationship and my feelings toward her,
I'd advise you to go into it in more detail.

It's easy for any of us to write: "Hi! Welcome!" but if you want helpful advice or feedback from people who have gone through pretty much what you're going through now, it would help us to know what you're going through.

BTW, Hi! Welcome!
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Old 04-29-2011, 09:38 PM
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Hello. It's early days yet. You guys will find your "new normal".
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Old 05-03-2011, 12:35 AM
StillaStudent StillaStudent is offline
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Originally Posted by Derbylicious View Post
Hello. It's early days yet. You guys will find your "new normal".
I guess that's a large part of it. I don't want a new normal. I want my wife back.

A few months back our relationship was as good as it's ever been. I'll be the first to admit that I don't have all of the excitement in our relationship we once had. We have a kid that has definately gotten in the way of our relationship and there's no novelty. But I swear, I fall in love with her over again several times throughout my day. I find most women boring and vapid. But my wife excites me and seems to be more attractive to me than the day I first met her.

So a few months ago she asked to sleep with a mutual friend. After a lot of talking about it I told her it was okay. Our relationship was fantastic and I figured this would be something fun she could do. I'm no dummy and I recognize that I'm not all things to all people. I get attracted to other women too. She and I were sleeping together daily, sometimes more often than that. So I figured this to be a friends with benefits thing. I told her I had a couple of concerns:

That she'd end up seeing him as a boyfriend.
That it'd be awkward (he's also my friend).
That it'd cut into how much sex we're having.
That there'd be secret winks and stuff and inside jokes when they're together I'm out of.
That the sex'd be a regular thing instead of an occasional thing.

So she's very attracted to this guy for a lot of reasons, but also that they share a common hobby (this comes up later). It's one I'm incapable of doing. Plus, I'm also okay with her having a life outside of me. I'm not trying to smother her.

So she asks to go on a road trip with a few friends including this guy. (We'll call him Steve). I've not been a possessive man to date and I'm cool with her hanging out with other guys. So all the friends skip out except Steve. So they leave for the weekend. I cannot go because I have to watch our daughter. Over the weekend she ends up going down on him a few times. I responded poorly when she told me after she got back. I felt ditched because I was watching our child and his dog, and she didn't talk to me much over the trip. But I was mostly in the wrong and got over this.

Well, over that month our relationship takes a dive. She proceeds to tell me that she loves me but isn't "in love" with me. I've gotten boring. I'm angry. I'm depressed. I'm not passionate about anything. Mind you, I was in the military (happily) previously and she gave me the ultimatum, "her or the military" I gave up the military and a few other jobs I found interesting for her.

So she's sleeping with this guy (who IS in the military), getting excited about their shared hobby (she sleeps with him EVERY time they do this) and telling me she isn't excited by me. Now, a lot of the problems she outlines I had, I've since gone a long way to correct (and for good reason; she was RIGHT). Now our relationship is MUCH corrected except for the depression I have over her relationship with this guy.

Again, he is a mutual friend and now lives with us. I signed off on this because I thought her excitement would die down having him around all the time. Instead it got worse. They sleep together a few times a week. They generally take advantage of just about any time I'm not around to at least make out together.

Now let me be clear: when things are good in our relationship, this is a huge turn on. I'm not threatened by her wanting to sleep with other people. Hell, I want to sleep with other people. She says that she loves him and he excites her. That's the threat.

I can tell her to stop at any time and she will. But I know she likes it, and it isn't going to change how she feels, so I try to let this go as far as I can without becoming overly miserable. He's effectively her boyfriend at this point. I decided that I think I can handle this. I have a hard time articulating my feelings, but when I could I figured it came down to this:

It's important to me that I'm her best lay.
It's important to me that she loves me MORE.

She's mentioned the V relationship and that's unacceptable to me. A checkmark shape, sure, but not a V. She tells me that her brain doesn't work in a way to rank her love. This is frustrating. I cannot understand this thought process. I can understand loving multiple people. I can understand loving them differently. But I can't understand how you can have multiple people at the top rung of the love ladder. I'll admit I've never REALLY loved anyone other than my wife and child, but I'll be the first to admit (as sick as it may seem to people) that I love my wife more than my child.

As to the sex part, she and Steve have really agressive, acrobatic, wild sex. She and I have sex that's slower, with more grinding. She says that I'm a better lay and the only one that can get her off, but she has never been someone to let me have more wild, acrobatic sex because I'm a little more endowed and it hurts her. She's much more corrective of me during sex than him. So this all together makes it really hard to believe that I'm a better lay.

A large part of this is that I don't feel I get a fair shake. She's into this military guy after getting me to leave the military. This guy has said, were the roles reversed, no way would he let her sleep with someone else. She's even talking about joining his branch of the military (which only makes sense as a big deal to those in my branch). I don't think it's fair because I'm the boring guy because I have a baby with her. We have the mundane crap we have to take care of together. When I'm dealing with our child she is effectively single, if only for a few hours.

I feel cheated. I signed on for a friends with bennies relationship and now have a something that is a threat to my own relationship with my wife. Knowing that she loves him is okay, but knowing that I'm not clearly her #1 hurts me. I mean, I probably am right now, but she's quick to say that she doesn't think this way and readily would want a V. It hurts my feelings toward her. If I'm not clearly her #1, then it makes me feel that maybe our relationship isn't what I always thought it was and what I wanted in a relationship. In short, the fact that the realization 7 years and 1 child later that she doesn't feel about me the way I feel about is emotionally devastating.

I'm not throwing the towel in on my marriage. In part I believe that she loves me more right now, even if she doesn't articulate it. So part of me figures I should ride it out and it'll work out or I'll end in a V, in which I will leave. I still absolutely adore my wife. When I feel like I'm her #1, this is hot. When I don't, it is absolute torture.

Thanks guys for reading this much, it was a novel!

SaS
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Old 05-03-2011, 04:10 AM
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Originally Posted by StillaStudent View Post
I guess that's a large part of it. I don't want a new normal. I want my wife back.
You still have your wife. You just don't have her all to yourself all the time. Rather than focusing on what you don't have focus on what you do have. Your relationship with her isn't about her relationship with him.

Quote:
A few months back our relationship was as good as it's ever been. I'll be the first to admit that I don't have all of the excitement in our relationship we once had. We have a kid that has definately gotten in the way of our relationship and there's no novelty. But I swear, I fall in love with her over again several times throughout my day. I find most women boring and vapid. But my wife excites me and seems to be more attractive to me than the day I first met her.
Kids change things. Spontenaity tends to go out the window (at least for a while). It's just a part of that stage of your life. It's good though that you find her interesting and attractive, that's what's going to get you through the first few years with small children.

Quote:
So a few months ago she asked to sleep with a mutual friend. After a lot of talking about it I told her it was okay. Our relationship was fantastic and I figured this would be something fun she could do. I'm no dummy and I recognize that I'm not all things to all people. I get attracted to other women too. She and I were sleeping together daily, sometimes more often than that. So I figured this to be a friends with benefits thing. I told her I had a couple of concerns:

That she'd end up seeing him as a boyfriend.
That it'd be awkward (he's also my friend).
That it'd cut into how much sex we're having.
That there'd be secret winks and stuff and inside jokes when they're together I'm out of.
That the sex'd be a regular thing instead of an occasional thing.
It's bad form to have inside jokes and keep someone out of it if you're all together regardless of relationship status. Also I think that hanging out with him is only going to be as awkward as the three of you make it. If you were friends before there's no reason to not carry on. Other than that, why does it matter how much sex they're having? If you're ok with them having sex I don't understand why it matters what the frequency is. Women tend to be able to have lots of sex so her sex life with him really shouldn't impact her sex life with you.
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Last edited by Derbylicious; 05-03-2011 at 04:14 AM.
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Old 05-03-2011, 04:10 AM
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Quote:
So she's very attracted to this guy for a lot of reasons, but also that they share a common hobby (this comes up later). It's one I'm incapable of doing. Plus, I'm also okay with her having a life outside of me. I'm not trying to smother her.

So she asks to go on a road trip with a few friends including this guy. (We'll call him Steve). I've not been a possessive man to date and I'm cool with her hanging out with other guys. So all the friends skip out except Steve. So they leave for the weekend. I cannot go because I have to watch our daughter. Over the weekend she ends up going down on him a few times. I responded poorly when she told me after she got back. I felt ditched because I was watching our child and his dog, and she didn't talk to me much over the trip. But I was mostly in the wrong and got over this.
Are you able to do things when she is home with your child? It's not fair if it's all one way. But yet again I'm wondering why you're focusing on the sex. You knew that she was going to be away and unavailable to you and you know that they are sexual with each other. But I'm glad to hear you got over it. Sometimes we tend to react to emotion and speak too soon.

Quote:
Well, over that month our relationship takes a dive. She proceeds to tell me that she loves me but isn't "in love" with me. I've gotten boring. I'm angry. I'm depressed. I'm not passionate about anything. Mind you, I was in the military (happily) previously and she gave me the ultimatum, "her or the military" I gave up the military and a few other jobs I found interesting for her.

So she's sleeping with this guy (who IS in the military), getting excited about their shared hobby (she sleeps with him EVERY time they do this) and telling me she isn't excited by me. Now, a lot of the problems she outlines I had, I've since gone a long way to correct (and for good reason; she was RIGHT). Now our relationship is MUCH corrected except for the depression I have over her relationship with this guy.
She's wrapped up in her NRE. She is saying things that she shouldn't. It upsets me when I hear that people are saying things like this. As for giving up something that you really enjoyed doing for her I'm sensing that you resent her a bit for it. If you've made the desision now you should really find a way to be ok with it.

You say your relationship with her is much improved. Focus on that rather than what she has with him. She's still with you and she's with you by choice. If she didn't want to be she would be gone by now.

Quote:
Again, he is a mutual friend and now lives with us. I signed off on this because I thought her excitement would die down having him around all the time. Instead it got worse. They sleep together a few times a week. They generally take advantage of just about any time I'm not around to at least make out together.
If you aren't happy having him live there it's time to have a talk about him getting his own place. You shouldn't be uncomfortable in your own house. Make it clear that you aren't trying to end their relationship but you need your own space back and that they experiment of having him live there isn't working for you. As for them making out and having sex at every opportunity that's just going to happen with a new relationship. They're both running on hormones.

Quote:
Now let me be clear: when things are good in our relationship, this is a huge turn on. I'm not threatened by her wanting to sleep with other people. Hell, I want to sleep with other people. She says that she loves him and he excites her. That's the threat.
Are you worried that she's going to leave you for him? Is that where the threat comes from? Has she made any indication at all that she doesn't want to be with you anymore? Control over someone else is an illusion. Even if she didn't have another relationship there's nothing saying that she will stay with you or not fall in love with someone else (even if she didn't act on it).

Quote:
I can tell her to stop at any time and she will. But I know she likes it, and it isn't going to change how she feels, so I try to let this go as far as I can without becoming overly miserable. He's effectively her boyfriend at this point. I decided that I think I can handle this. I have a hard time articulating my feelings, but when I could I figured it came down to this:

It's important to me that I'm her best lay.
It's important to me that she loves me MORE.
So sex with different people is different. For the most part there is no worse and no better, there's just different energy. If you're connected to someone it's going to be good. As for loving someone more a lot of us can't really do that. I either love someone or I don't. I have more entaglements of day to day life with my husband and more history with him but I don't love him more than my girlfriend. She can tell you she loves you more and the sex is better with you but chances are she would just be saying it because that's what you want to hear.

Quote:
She's mentioned the V relationship and that's unacceptable to me. A checkmark shape, sure, but not a V. She tells me that her brain doesn't work in a way to rank her love. This is frustrating. I cannot understand this thought process. I can understand loving multiple people. I can understand loving them differently. But I can't understand how you can have multiple people at the top rung of the love ladder. I'll admit I've never REALLY loved anyone other than my wife and child, but I'll be the first to admit (as sick as it may seem to people) that I love my wife more than my child.

As to the sex part, she and Steve have really agressive, acrobatic, wild sex. She and I have sex that's slower, with more grinding. She says that I'm a better lay and the only one that can get her off, but she has never been someone to let me have more wild, acrobatic sex because I'm a little more endowed and it hurts her. She's much more corrective of me during sex than him. So this all together makes it really hard to believe that I'm a better lay.
Do you believe that she loves you? Do you and she have a satisfying sex life? If you do then what she has with him is irrelevant. If you don't then you have things to work on between the two of you and what she has with him is still irrelevant.

Quote:
A large part of this is that I don't feel I get a fair shake. She's into this military guy after getting me to leave the military. This guy has said, were the roles reversed, no way would he let her sleep with someone else. She's even talking about joining his branch of the military (which only makes sense as a big deal to those in my branch). I don't think it's fair because I'm the boring guy because I have a baby with her. We have the mundane crap we have to take care of together. When I'm dealing with our child she is effectively single, if only for a few hours.
Stop comparing yourself to him. There are always going to be differences between you and other people. I know how it feels to feel like the boring co-parent. I've felt that way too. Find a way to make yourself feel un-boring. Do something you love and feel passionate about. Find your fire again and start sharing it with her. Also have her stay home with the child for equal time as you are giving her and get out and do something. You are both this child's parents and should be putting equal time in parenting said child. Or, heck, if you're resenting her being out get a sitter and go out and do something fun too.

Quote:
I feel cheated. I signed on for a friends with bennies relationship and now have a something that is a threat to my own relationship with my wife. Knowing that she loves him is okay, but knowing that I'm not clearly her #1 hurts me. I mean, I probably am right now, but she's quick to say that she doesn't think this way and readily would want a V. It hurts my feelings toward her. If I'm not clearly her #1, then it makes me feel that maybe our relationship isn't what I always thought it was and what I wanted in a relationship. In short, the fact that the realization 7 years and 1 child later that she doesn't feel about me the way I feel about is emotionally devastating.
I'm wondering if you're really hearing what she is saying. It sounds to me that she has 2 #1 men in her life. You haven't been replaced she's just found someone else who is worthy of the love she has to give.

Quote:
I'm not throwing the towel in on my marriage. In part I believe that she loves me more right now, even if she doesn't articulate it. So part of me figures I should ride it out and it'll work out or I'll end in a V, in which I will leave. I still absolutely adore my wife. When I feel like I'm her #1, this is hot. When I don't, it is absolute torture.

Thanks guys for reading this much, it was a novel!

SaS
I'm sorry this was a harsh. I really think you need to focus more on yourself and your relationship with your wife. Talk to her about what you need from her to feel loved (not to be confused with what you would like her not to have with Steve). Set some boundaries around how often you are willing to stay home with your child. Look into getting some sitters. Find something you love to do and share your excitement with your wife. Oh and get your house back. If you're not 100% on board with him living with you then he needs to be living somewhere else.
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Last edited by Derbylicious; 05-03-2011 at 04:13 AM.
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Old 05-03-2011, 04:26 AM
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I agree that you most of all need to stop comparing yourself to him, and that she is caught up in the heady euphoria of what is called NRE. Also agree that moving him in with you seems to be too much too soon. Take back your house is right! You know you can work out a schedule so she can spend half the week with him, half with you.

I've never seen anyone talk about a V as compared to a checkmark, as if the length of the "legs" in the V or checkmark represents the importance of the person at the hinge. You must be very visually-oriented.

I must say I have never been able to understand the mindset of someone being okay with their spouse having "no strings" sex, as if she's a toy, but not being okay with the spouse developing deeper feelings. I can't say what your wife has with this guy isn't really much more than sex, though, but wouldn't you want the person you love to have a life filled with love, whether from friends, family, or lovers, rather than just recreational sex? It doesn't diminish your love or your value to her for her to find love in more than one person.
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An excellent blog post on hierarchy in polyamory:
solopoly.net/2014/10/31/why-im-not-a-secondary-partner-the-short-version/
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Old 05-03-2011, 04:27 AM
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Wow... After reading this i have to say, I don't think poly is actually what you are dealing with.

You said your wife doesn't feel excited by you? That, to me ( and i am far from an expert) sounds like there is some underlying problem in the relationship between you and your wife.

There is an old business principle. When a company needs money to expand, that's good. When a company needs obey to survive, that's BAD!

I have to say that unfortunately, i have found many people enter poly when a relationship (rather than being truly healthy and looking to expand) is wounded and in need of new life force.

Maybe you should ask your wife for a break from poly until you and she have truly figured everything out.
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Old 05-03-2011, 09:09 AM
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Derbylicious and nycindie: although I think that your comments are good, helpful, and need to be considered, I want to comment on a few aspects:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Derbylicious View Post
It's bad form to have inside jokes and keep someone out of it if you're all together regardless of relationship status. Also I think that hanging out with him is only going to be as awkward as the three of you make it. If you were friends before there's no reason to not carry on. Other than that, why does it matter how much sex they're having? If you're ok with them having sex I don't understand why it matters what the frequency is. Women tend to be able to have lots of sex so her sex life with him really shouldn't impact her sex life with you.
a) There is obviously a lot of NRE [new relationship energy] going on here and we all know that that can be painful [for the one who feels left out]. [SaS, if you're new to this term, run a search on it on this board and read others' experiences. You are certainly not alone on this.]
b) "If you're ok with them having sex I don't understand why it matters what the frequency is." I think it's a case of one-upmanship which - although not particularly healthy (nor helpful) for those taking part or feeling like that - is VERY human. (And - I would imagine - more ingrained in those with a military past or present.)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Derbylicious View Post
But yet again I'm wondering why you're focusing on the sex.
I don't think that SaS is "focussing on the sex". He's written that if it were only sex, he could deal with it. He's focussing on the emotions involved. And while I personally wouldn't want my lover(s) to be the kind of person who can have sex totally detached from emotions, I try to recognise that many people feel differently than me on this.
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Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
I've never seen anyone talk about a V as compared to a checkmark, as if the length of the "legs" in the V or checkmark represents the importance of the person at the hinge. You must be very visually-oriented.
I found this a very inventive and useful description for the way many people actually feel. They call their relationships Vs, but they're really check marks. At least SaS is honest about wanting this. (And you made a little mistake: the length of the "legs" in the V or checkmark represents the relative importance of the two arms to the person at the hinge.)

Erosa: a very good comment, but I want to take you up on
Quote:
Wow... After reading this i have to say, I don't think poly is actually what you are dealing with.
Polyamory doesn't mean that all problems have been solved and that everybody's perfectly happy. There are obviously very strong problems to be dealth with here, but I rather think that SaS' wife continues to love him, she's just carried away on NRE and was very tactless in her comment that she finds him boring.

And now: SaS! I think that I know about PART of your dilemma. Your wife isn't treating you fairly. This is the sort of thing that bothers me, and I use it to differentiate between "justified" and "unjustified" jealousy. The former is a sign of insecurity and the latter is a sign of "I'm being treated unfairly here". I wrote about this on other thread (my second comment on this page). I'll add another detail here:

When AIDS started to get public attention, my girlfriend ["M" in that comment] went to a conference where it was talked about on the same weekend that I was spending with another girlfriend. That week, she started to wade into me for being irresponsible, for not protecting us against the dangers of AIDS. (I had talked with the other woman [a former girlfriend I'd just reconnected with] before any sex took place and she'd told me that her last sexual encounter [which didn't include fucking] had been 2 years earlier. I'm not saying that there was no risk but that - back in the early days of awakening consciousness about AIDS, before we knew much about it - I felt that I had been responsible. M herself hadn't taken stronger measures against AIDS before this revelation she received at the conference.)

So M insisted that from that moment on, we not have sex with anybody else without using condoms, and that we immediately both have an AIDS test. I had no problem with that: I thought that it was a sensible decision. What I did have problems with was that - after M's laying into me - I went and got my AIDS test straight away (and let M know that I was free) and M never had the test! I found that hypocritical... and unfair. Double standards suck!

So, SaS, when you write that your wife insisted that "it's the military or me!" and you left the military because of that, and then she starts a relationship with someone who's still in the military (without - yet? - insisting that he leave it for her), and to top that off, gives a strong impression of being more smitten with him than with you... I can fully understand your feeling that she's not playing straight with you. And that - coming from someone you love - hurts. Don't I know it!
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I'd rather have a broken heart / Than have a heart of stone.
- from "Boundless Love (A Polyamory Song)" by Jimmy Hollis i Dickson

Last edited by MrFarFromRight; 05-03-2011 at 02:41 PM. Reason: grammar, explanation, correcting ambiguity
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Old 05-03-2011, 01:21 PM
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Oh, how I can relate to this situation. It bears a lot of resemblance to when my ex-h first got a gf, 10 years ago.

We'd been together 20 years and raised 3 kids to teenagerhood (they were about 10-15yrs old at that point). Our relationship felt strong enough to open it, as we'd had more time for being together because the kids were more independent.

So... anyway, we met this woman who was supposed to be our unicorn (hot bi babe), but she turned out to not be into me, just into him (not bi after all, just bi-curious).

He was overcome by new relationship energy (NRE) and wanted a V. I didnt think she'd earned that status. Also I didn't understand his feelings of love for her were NRE, and felt he was more into her than into me. Despite our history and good sex life, I felt pushed aside. When he told me he wanted to move her in and make her a 2nd wife (after like, 3 dates), that they were soul mates, I made them break it off. It all felt too Mormon-like to me. He wasn't cool with me seeing other men then, just women (I'm bisexual).

Anyway! Enough about me.

What's this about your sex with her having to be slow and not wild because you're well endowed? I don't get that. Does it hurt her when you penetrate her too deeply? Some men with big cocks wear a donut shaped ring at the base of their cock to prevent over-penetration. Maybe that would help you.

She's not being fair about the military career thing.

Your idea of having him move in to cause familiarity to bring contempt seems to have backfired. Healthy 3way living conditions should be to bring more love into the equation, not less. It's almost always a very bad idea to bring a new lover fulltime into your home when you don't know them well. Your wife is just seeing an idealized version of her new crush, and that's very exciting, but not reality.
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Love withers under constraint; its very essence is liberty. It is compatible neither with envy, jealousy or fear. It is there most pure, perfect and unlimited when its votaries live in confidence, equality and unreserve. -- Shelley

me: Mags, 59, living with:
miss pixi, 37
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