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  #1  
Old 08-15-2017, 02:14 PM
OldSchoolG OldSchoolG is offline
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Default A vexing situation - newbie (long read)

Hello all,

I am new to this forum - brand new. I am also new to polyamory, in fact I am not really there (yet) but am in a confusing situation that the good members of this forum can perhaps help me with:

I am a mid 40s straight man, married with children for 14 years. I love my wife very much and we are compatible in many ways, but unfortunately the sex has been very infrequent and boring. Basically she is pretty vanilla, full of anxiety, somewhat prudish and has a low sex drive, but I am the complete opposite and have been subduing a lot of my needs and impulses all this time. Recently I have become better at expressing my needs again (I had given up before after trying numerous times to change things) and the sex is getting better, but I still know that there are parts of my sexuality (the closet sex-freak who wants to experiment, have rough sex, get into BDSM and experiment with men) that she will never be able to fulfill, and I can't imagine going the rest of my life with her as my only sexual partner. At my initiation we have recently talked about opening up our marriage, but she was VERY against that. I am not so into casual sex and neither is she - if we did open up, we both realized it would be with people who we would truly care about, which is obviously threatening to our marriage, although I do not feel that way, because:

At the same time, in something that has allowed me to better understand about my own sexual/emotional needs, I have this year been having an emotional affair with a friend whom I have known for sometime, who is also married with children (and to make things more confusing our children are also friends with each other). We are not lovers, but we text and talk all the time and share a deep, caring connection and have used the L word. We trust each other deeply - we have basically become best friends - and I have shared a lot with her, which has actually allowed me to feel more love and connection with my wife and improve our relationship in turn (this is why I don't feel my marriage would be threatened if we cared for other people). My wife knows her and knows we are close friends, and is threatened by that, but doesn't know exactly how deep it is. My friend and I have both tried to help each other with our marriages with some success, even though we are intensely attracted to each other. My friend, who is very poly-oriented but has been in a very traditional marriage, is having a extremely rocky time with her husband and, like me, wants to open it up but her husband is resistant and she keeps saying she wants out. In the meantime she has recently had a few extra-marital sexual flings, which made me intensely jealous, which was interesting for me to deal with.

My friend and I have resisted becoming lovers and we decided instead to try and get our spouses into polyamory but it doesn't seem to be happening. I have had a sexual/spiritual awakening (which was brewing for some time before all this) and want to transition into poly-exploration, and also have my friend become my girlfriend, but given the resistance of my wife to this idea in the abstract, any version of this seems unlikely. My friend would very much like the same to happen to her marriage as well, and for me to be her boyfriend, but this also seems unlikely and if not, she will probably stay in the marriage but continue to have flings and conceal them from her husband, or eventually get a divorce and be free.

It seems I am faced with the choice of: continuing to suppress my sexual and poly-needs, have affairs and conceal them, or get a divorce, but it seems selfish to divorce because of that when things are mostly good, and the first two options seem awful. I want openness and honesty in my life in all areas and don't want to be an old man regretting not living life to the fullest. Any advice?
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  #2  
Old 08-15-2017, 02:52 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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I'm sorry you struggle.

I mean this kindly, ok?

Quit wasting time on unproductive stuff and just get on with the show. The stuff you want to be doing and how you want to be living. Life is not a dress rehearsal. You only get the one.

Quote:
It seems I am faced with the choice of: continuing to suppress my sexual and poly-needs, have affairs and conceal them, or get a divorce, but it seems selfish to divorce because of that when things are mostly good, and the first two options seem awful. I want openness and honesty in my life in all areas and don't want to be an old man regretting not living life to the fullest. Any advice?
If you want open and honest in all areas of your life? Start practicing open and honest in all area of your life then. Including with yourself. The marriage is not ok if you are having emotional affairs. Your marital agreements pinch. Get on with sorting that out.

"Living life to the fullest" includes being willing to experience ALL of life. Not just the "fun" parts -- you also have to be up for dealing with the less fun bits. So get on with it. Live life fully.

Going behind your spouse's back to have an emotional affair is still cheating on your marital agreements. Be honest with yourself about that. Maybe doesn't seem as bad as what your GF is doing in comparison, but it's not you being open or honest with your wife in the marriage area of your life is it?

From your list?
  • continuing to suppress my sexual and poly-needs. Do not suggest. You already have been doing that and the result is that you feel suppressed.
  • have affairs and conceal them. Do not suggest. It is not in keeping with your want to be open and honest in all areas of your life. Align your behaviors to your goals, dude. Or else you aren't gonna get the goals met because you get in your own way.
  • get a divorce, This solution allows wife to be free FROM anything open/poly she does not want. This solution allows you to be free TO do open/poly in an open and honest way. I do not color it dark green because it is not a "jump for joy" kind of choice. It would parting with some sorrow. But it IS parting with respect for her, yourself, and honors your desire to be open and honest in all areas and live life to the fullest. So I color it light green. And it's the greenest of the bunch. So... get on with it.

What's so bad about divorce? The stuff that is still good with wife? Being friends, having things in common, liking each other? They can still continue even if the relationship shape changes from "married" to "good exes and friends." It might even be a better fitting shape so you CAN keep the good parts good.

You could choose to value the (well being of the people) over (continuing a relationship shape you have outgrown/no longer want.) "Open and Honest" could start with you being more open and honest with yourself. You don't want Closed marriage any more. That's news you need to tell your wife. Don't weenie out.

Some choices in life are win-lose. Some are "All options stink. Which one stinks less then?"

This is one of those times. Life is just life.

I encourage you to talk open and honestly with Wife even if it is scary or seems hard. So what? Still needs doing if you want to live open and honest.

Get that part sorted first. Then after? I encourage you to reevaluate association with your emotional affair partner.

TBH? It sounds like misery bonding. Like both unhappy with marriages and needing an ear and all that. But really what's going on? She's a serial cheater.Using her flings for the physical sex crutch and using you for the emotional crutch. So... kinda usery.

How does dating someone like this support your desire to be open and honest in all areas of your life? Not so much.

She may have made you realize things were no longer great in your marriage, but she doesn't sound like "open and honest GF" material to me. Does not practice those values in her own life. Sort your life out, then move on to open/poly dating with people who can better support you in your open/honest goals / new way of going. Don't start a new life surrounding yourself with hinky sounding people.

"Open and honest" is not gonna fall out of the sky. You work at it and practice it to CREATE it in your life.

So if that's what you want in your life now? Get busy.

GL!

Galagirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 08-15-2017 at 05:58 PM.
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Old 08-15-2017, 04:37 PM
OldSchoolG OldSchoolG is offline
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Gala Girl,

Thanks for your honest advice. It is in line with a lot of my thinking as well, although I do not wish for that possible end result - a divorce and also losing the closeness with my friend, who indeed as you say is somewhat of a serial cheater (although the physical cheating is new for her, and her and her husband are a bit 'monagamish' and he has known about and been OK with her friendship with me. My wife knows about that also! But not how close we are. In any case, you are right about the 'emotional affair' indicating deeper problems in my marriage.)

It may be, as you say, a lose-lose situation and I will have to pick the lesser of the bad choices.

In any case, I will have to have a few long and difficult conversations with my wife in the coming days. I think that it will take awhile to sort out, either way. And I am not ready at all to give up on my marriage so easily, even though I am going through changes that have made its old format confining.

Thanks!
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Old 08-15-2017, 06:00 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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Glad you took it in the spirit intended.

I hope the talks go well.

Be brave and just get it done. Sort the things that need sorting one way or another.

Galagirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 08-15-2017 at 10:46 PM.
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  #5  
Old 08-15-2017, 10:27 PM
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kdt26417 kdt26417 is offline
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Hi OldSchoolG,

My first thought was divorce, but maybe there's another way. Namely, talk to your wife and let her know that you want relationships, emotionally deep relationships, with other women, and that you intend to go that route. Tell your wife that you understand if she wants to divorce you, but that you hope she doesn't. This way there's a chance that your wife will want to stay married to you even while you pursue poly. The only drawback here is that your wife's heart may no longer be in this marriage, she may be going through the motions, and even becoming increasingly resentful towards you as the years creep by. You could still end up with a divorce, possibly a much darker divorce than you might have had here and now. So my first thought is still divorce, but you do have other options.

Sorry you are caught in this difficult situation.
Sincerely,
Kevin T.
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Old 08-16-2017, 07:27 AM
OldSchoolG OldSchoolG is offline
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Kevin,

Thank you. I have consulted with a few people (this forum and previously two old, dear friends) about my 'awakening' or whatever it is called. And everyone seems to think that a divorce was inevitable, or the least bad of the bad options.

in fact I already, a few weeks ago, dropped the 'poly bomb' on my wife - after she was joking about her seeing other people, so I eased into that talk. And it did not go so well - but it doesn't seem to go so well usually. I am definitely not willing to let it go so easily - it wouldn't be, as GalaGirl wrote above, 'some pain' - a divorce would be a monumental amount of pain, and not just for me and my wife. Kids - family, friends, etc.

So I will continue to work on our relationship, have some deep talks, work on our own sexuality etc. I can't talk about it again right now, but in a few weeks I will bring up the poly stuff and see how that goes. I need timing and patience I think.

Thanks
OSG
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Old 08-16-2017, 11:29 PM
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kdt26417 kdt26417 is offline
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Timing and patience might work.
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