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Old 05-25-2011, 11:16 PM
Unspellable Unspellable is offline
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Default Advice? Tips? Do I leave well-enough alone?

Hello all,

I've been lurking a little bit, reading some posts, and trying to sort out something that I'm trying to come to terms with in my marriage.

First off, I am a happily married man, with a wonderful wife whom I love dearly. We are quickly approaching a decade of marriage, in which our marriage has survived and grown through long-distance, a war + being deployed, and numerous other tests. I point this out because I believe the two of us are in this for the long haul for as long as we wish it to be.

But, if everything was roses, why would I be posting here? Here's the 'but': My wife has always been bi-curious, but has never felt the need to explore that beyond kissing in college. In fact, one talk we had early on was that she felt she would have entertained exploring that bi-curiousness prior to our marriage, but not afterwards. I, on the other hand, have always had an intellectual curiosity in alternative relationships (I read a _lot_ of Heinlein, for example) -- but given early self-esteem issues, this always remained an intellectual curiosity -- I never believed that any woman would want to be with me, so anything more than that is just sci-fi, right?

Fast forward several years.. my marriage is firmly established; I've grown considerably and have a lot more self-worth. My wife and I have never ventured outside our marriage for anything. Then, my wife calls me from a party she's attending and tells me she's _really_ interested in making out with a new friend of hers who is at the party with my wife. Long story considerably shortened, kissing happens, and my wife crashes on the friend's couch overnight.

I picked up my wife the next day, met the friend, and things seemed slightly awkward but manageable as we left. Here's where things actually leave the rails a bit: I expected we would talk about this.. but we didn't. Not initally. Not for a few weeks actually and never completely even then. In the meantime, my head was spinning with possibilities. She finally said she just wanted to tease me a bit and left it at that.

Skip a bit more up to the present: It's now been over a year since that occurred and I still haven't been able to talk this out completely with her. And through bits and pieces, I think I know why.

Where I was expecting this sort of awakening in her that we would work through together -- instead, she feels quite a bit of guilt about the whole thing. My initial talks and discussions in particular have her feeling guilty in that 'if she hadn't done this, I wouldn't have these feelings now'. That bothers me. I don't think it's a true statement, in that I've always thought about these things -- and since that time I've even found out that we know some poly people already. I can't help but think that once I met them, I would have started wondering even without the event at the party as a trigger.

I hope I explained this clearly. The succint situation is, My wife is bi-curious but appears to be mono. I'm apparently poly-curious, but don't know what to do with that knowledge, if anything.

I know we need to talk. I don't know when that will happen though; we've got several other stresses going on right now, so I'm not trying to push the issue.. but I also feel I haven't been 'pushing the issue' for a year and want to talk about this already. Do any of you, particularly from a married couple point of view, have some advice? I'd appreciate it.
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Old 05-26-2011, 12:29 AM
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nycindie nycindie is offline
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Hi, just an initial reaction from me (I'm not part of a married poly couple, but...). Lots of women can be curious about involvement with other women without ever needing to follow through on it. It can remain just a curiosity or fantasy, or one that a few kisses seem to satisfy. Having that curiosity doesn't mean readiness or even desire to launch into full-on exploration of bisexual relationships. I mean, I'm curious about lots of things; do I need to go and experience all of them? No.

Maybe she's embarrassed about discussing it because, besides some inhibitions she may have, she might have realized she went further than she was really comfortable with and would rather you not encourage her to pursue anything in that direction. Perhaps it wasn't an "awakening" in her (wishful thinking on your part?), or that she awakened to the realization that she does not want to go down that path.

Just a possible take on it. Now, as to opening your relationship to polyamory... that's another story. Are you willing to do it if she wants to be with another man?
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Last edited by nycindie; 05-26-2011 at 12:35 AM.
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Old 05-26-2011, 01:20 AM
Unspellable Unspellable is offline
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> Perhaps it wasn't an "awakening" in her (wishful thinking on your part?), or that she awakened to the realization that she does not want to go down that path.
>
> Just a possible take on it. Now, as to opening your relationship to polyamory... that's another story. Are you willing to do it if she wants to be with another man?

It very well might be wishful thinking on my part. The initial shock of her actually doing anything outside our marriage is primarily what led me to consider that maybe she wanted something more. There have been other moments as well -- she's flat out stated that there is a sexual tension between her and this friend -- but you might be right; she may just want to keep it as that and nothing more.

As for her being with another man.. I'm not an extremely jealous individual; I have always assumed if we talked about this, it would include that as something to be discussed. I am more sensitive regarding her being with another man -- I may have grown, but I realize that I may have some lingering insecurity there -- but I don't veto it outright. I would want him to treat her well, and respect our relationship. I also would want an equivalent agreement.. but that seems much further along than we are, or even than what's possible at this point.
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Old 05-28-2011, 12:47 AM
Unspellable Unspellable is offline
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I'm rather surprised at the lack of other responses. Does my situation seem fairly common then?
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Old 05-28-2011, 05:24 AM
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Sorry, I don't really understand what is going on here. She tried it out and then that was it? Now you are hooked on being poly and think she isn't?

I don't know if it is common so much as just a part of the process. She has stuff to process and is likely doing it... you also are processing and doing it... unless I missed something, that is all I see happening no?
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Old 05-28-2011, 12:23 PM
NeonKaos NeonKaos is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unspellable View Post
I'm rather surprised at the lack of other responses. Does my situation seem fairly common then?


Here is a link to a tag search for "books". You might want to try reading some of these and sharing what you discover with your wife. You mention that the two of you don't really talk about this. The number-one "rule" of poly is that you don't expect other people to be mind-readers (most people refer to that as "communication" but I think that word gets tossed around so much that folks don't even know what it's supposed to mean anymore).

Another "rule" of poly you need to remember is that you shouldn't add people to a relationship dynamic that is already unstable. You should never try to "fix" one relationship by getting involved in another. The corollary to this is that if you can't communicate with your wife alone just-the-two-of-you, how do you expect to manage with a third (or more) person in the picture?


That's what comes to my mind right off the bat, and yes, your situation is far from unique, just like most people's stories. People think their experiences are so unique because it's never happened to THEM before, but for every cockroach you see, there are 500 more that you don't see, so rest assured, you have plenty of company.
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Old 05-28-2011, 04:44 PM
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What I suspect some of what your wife is going through might come from is that back when the two of you got together, she more or less buried her bi-curiosity. It is a big deal to think that one part of your personality and visions for future are no longer an option - once that you enter into what's supposed to be a monogamous relationship with a man, you need to bury your bi-curiosity, and to suddenly learn that there might still be space to explore that without having to give up a marriage to a man? Serious re-evaluation work ahead!
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