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  #21  
Old 11-25-2011, 09:40 PM
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I've been reading along and honestly, I'm rather confused. Some of your posts just sound like different stories from different people. I could be totally misreading but some of this sounds a bit contradictory. I'm still confused as to what it is exactly that you're worried about your husband even doing. I know that this format is difficult to convey complex situations and emotions in. On one hand you seem to be saying that you need strict boundaries to make sure no one messes up or gets too attached but then you say that the relationship is free to develop emotionally. I hope you can see how some of your statements might seem a tad contradictory. All we have to go on is what you give us. In your last post, you say you have a powerful, workable dynamic. But some how this whole situation comes off sounding like you're all dancing on the edge of a knife hoping not to fall to ruin.

I guess I just don't know a) what the problem is precisely, b) what everyone's responsibilities and roles are and c) the expectations for the future/possibilities for boundary renegotiation

Obviously, I agree that your husband should not be trying to 'renegotiate' boundaries during sex. Still, I feel confused about what it is you're asking.
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Old 11-25-2011, 10:47 PM
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I can see where there's confusion - there's a lot of information.

a) The problem lay in S txting me to ask me if we had changed the parameters of my husband contacting her outside of our threesome. He had txted her out of the blue, despite co-creating boundaries around communications between him/her. It was innocent enough, but a direct violation of boundaries that we had established. There were also instances of him overstepping boundaries around trying to initiate one-on-one sex during sleepovers despite our boundary of only engaging in sex between the three of us. It lay in the disrespecting of boundaries/pushing of boundaries without good communication practices. It totally freaked me out, as I wasn't expecting that kind of emotional immaturity from him, and it put up a ton of red flags for me.

b) Responsibility and roles? I would say that there are 2 primaries - my husband and I, and we share a secondary partner. My responsibilities are to set up dates, keep lines of communication open and co-create a respectful, fun time for everyone. My husband's responsibilities are to co-create a respectful, fun time for everyone, be the driving masculine force in our sex life and co-create great dates for us - he also provides a lot of spoiling, massages and fantasy play. Our lover's responsibilities are to inform us if she is taking on additional partners, and to enjoy being spoiled.

c) Expectations for the future are unattached. In reality, there is no telling how it will all unfold; she is a law student returning home when she gets her degree (minimum of one year, maximum of two.) There are days where we romanticize about a future together, and we are open to a lot of possibilities (we have lived with, and shared a life with a third before, for example). As for boundary renegotiation - yes, totally, I am open to that, but if basic boundaries can't be respected in the beginning it makes me pretty wary - give a spoiled child their way, and you've got an even more spoiled child, you know?
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  #23  
Old 11-26-2011, 06:39 AM
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Your relationship seems to be set up completely around boundaries and rules... is that right? or am I just understanding that because of this thread.

I realize you are not me and I am not you. But I find the description of your relationship stifling. Maybe it works for all of you I don't know. I just worry about a husband that APOLOGIZES for pushing boundaries! Are you the dom here? Am I missing something? If you are then that is a different thing, but I still would air on the side of allowing things to flow and not having such a tight grip on what everyone is doing and feeling. Things change. Its okay if they do. Its a good thing. There is nothing wrong with making sure all the sex is together, or that there are boundaries, but letting it go when it needs to be let go is also important I think. Something to consider perhaps? Besides, who has endless time holding on to such boundaries... I sure wouldn't. I got other shit to do!
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  #24  
Old 11-26-2011, 06:59 AM
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It doesn't matter that you all came up with this agreement together. It really doesn't. The reason most have continually harped on the agreement itself and not the fact that he's not respecting it is because something isn't working with the agreement. How many times does he have to "accidentally" breach the boundaries of the agreement before discussing it and restating the same rules stops being an option? Why are you and him the only ones in this discussion (apologize if this isn't the case, just going on context clues).


The definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results. You need a new agreement already.
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Old 11-26-2011, 07:00 AM
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Would also like the point out that him disrespecting the agreement IS an issue.
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Old 11-26-2011, 07:02 AM
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very good points FireChild.
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  #27  
Old 11-26-2011, 07:37 PM
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Default Honesty, Communication, Respect and Trust.

Wow, a lot of challenging happens on this board, eh? Thanks for your observations and opinions, and for allowing me the opportunity to get clearer, both with you, and with my husband and girlfriend.

Our relationship is set up around honesty, respect, trust, having fun and great threeway sex, not around boundaries and rules, although there are two of those in place right now. I think maybe where our situation is getting misunderstood is that my problem lies in the lack of communication from any of the involved parties before those boundaries were violated. Doing something that you have promised that you wouldn’t and talking about it afterwards is much more damaging than talking about desires/feelings beforehand and allowing everyone the opportunity to respond and choose to shift boundaries is needed. By overriding our group’s boundaries, my husband put both ladies in an awkward situation to be sure. And yes, I am “driving the bus” in this, making me the “domme” for lack of a better term.

We talked about these boundaries in our threesome, and there was nothing accidental about him overriding them; we’ve had some pretty cool breakthroughs in our talks around his reasons for violating (I'm going to stop using the word pushing, as it doesn't fit the level of disrespect that was going on) boundaries and he has had some incredible aha moments about himself as well. I’m super proud of his ability to do self inventory and grow; he has expressed intense gratitude for my clarity and me challenging his bad habits. I definitely agree that him disrespecting the agreement IS an issue, and I’m glad that we’re addressing it, and seeing what it means to all of us through long talks and a deepening of understanding of ourselves and each other.

These are not new habits; my husband has struggled before in polyamory with dishonesty, miscommunication, boundary forcing and sneakiness. It’s a funny response to being able to have multiple partners/relationships for some people that I have seen before over the years; the only context/role modeling they have for seeing more than one person is affairs and/or cheating, so they’re not used to being able to talk about their desires, feelings and issues around both in a group/with more than one partner/at all in some cases. Even our lover/girlfriend went through this when she was encouraging an ex to engage in polyamory – he told her he didn’t want that, and then she found out that he had been cheating on her with numerous other women after their talk, which made it hurt even more, because he had betrayed her trust when he could have just told her and had what he wanted AND her/her trust/not hurting her. Has anyone else been through this, or are we just some kind of freaky on our own threesome that can see that more-more-more (sex, greediness, what one wants over what everyone in the relationship wants, deception, sneakiness) can actually result in less-less-less (trust, respect, honesty, communication, happiness, safety, and on and on). Can I get a hell-ya that some boundary pushing/forcing is just a form of dishonesty & selfishness?

I am not trying to keep a tight grip on what everyone is feeling, but don’t seem to be doing a very good job of explaining this somehow. We are all falling in love with each other; not exactly what we had set out to find, but the woman that we chose to open our marriage for hot sex with has turned out to be someone that both have strong feelings for, and vice versa. Fluidity, room for emotional relationships, and all of those things are unfolding at their own pace. There are a lot of conversations around that on all sides when we’re together, and through S and I when we’re apart (for the time being).

And trust me, I’ve got “other shit to do” too. (I’m not sure why I find that statement so intense, as I can see a smiley face afterwards – I guess I don’t take my husband’s bad behaviour as lightly). Having boundaries is a tiny part of a dynamic life, but it becomes a big part when they’re disrespected and violated. I don't have a lot of respect for deceit and selfishness in general.

I know people who have the boundary “no sex in our shared bed.” If you found out that your partner/lover WAS having sex with another partner in your bed would you a) feel silly for asking them to not sleep in the bed, and change your boundary right away b) be upset and want to talk about it and see why they were disrespected an agreed upon boundary and being deceitful?

It’s not so much about “holding onto boundaries” but making sure that whatever boundaries ARE set by the group and respected, and that changes to those boundaries happen at a pace that everyone is comfortable with. Relationships can be complex without being complicated and dramatic, and this only happens with good communication, and thinking about others at the same time as meeting your own needs. We are a month and a half into our new relationship; if we can’t have good communication, set boundaries, and respect them in the fledging stages of our relationship, then I’d say we’re heading into some dangerous territory.

Last edited by ChloeJane; 11-26-2011 at 08:20 PM.
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  #28  
Old 11-26-2011, 08:32 PM
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Hey Chloe, thanks for your kind words about me and my situation.

This board is definitely a place where we do a lot of challenging, but the members can also be very supportive, often of the same person at once. Don't take it too much to heart.

I think the reaction you're getting comes from the fact that we've seen very few triads/vees here with strict boundaries/rules about how the third person can interact with one/both members of the couple in terms of communication/sex that weren't pretty damn dysfunctional (how many slashes can I fit into one sentence?). I'll admit, my reaction to your first post was very negative, though I did my best to stay objective. I was reminded of a number of other stories I've read here, most strongly of one particular young woman who was invited to be the "girlfriend" of a couple but was treated with a lot of really saddening disrespect. One of the facets of that situation was that the female half of the preexisting couple did all the communicating.

What made me come around completely to thinking that your situation is a healthy one was that:
- the boundaries are about very reasonable worries concerning your husband's tendency to deal horribly with NRE, not about trying to keep the third in a "safe" controlled position in relation to the two of you
- you're open to and embracing of the possibility of love and of the relationship becoming whatever it wants to be in time
- you see these boundaries as a starting place and are open to changing them as needs/comfort dictate
- you obviously respect your third and aren't engaging in the deeply problematic, controlling behaviors that some couples do, like demanding exclusivity before she's had a chance to form anything like a real partnership with you

I *do* have a prejudice against the whole "we can only be intimate when all three are present" thing, still. I think that one-on-one time is vital to any newly developing relationship and that to deny that is to deny the fact that we're all individuals who fit together in unique ways. I don't think you can really know some things about a person until you've bonded with them when no one else is around. Maybe I'm extra sensitive to this issue because it's hard for me to get one-on-one time with my gf right now and as much as I like her husband I miss that dearly and feel that it's something that's missing from our relationship. But if you've read my blog, you know that there are reasons for that. And, again, the fact that you see the current state of things as a for-now thing makes all the difference to me.

I also do think that everyone gets that your husband's boundary-breaking behavior is not ok -- some people have mentioned it, and it's very clear on other threads that we don't cotton to selfish, thoughtless overstepping here -- but people are choosing to focus instead on what they see as the bigger issue, which is the question of where the boundaries are coming from and whether they're helpful or harmful. That's what I did in my first couple of posts, anyway.

Maybe starting a blog in the blogs section would work well for you -- this section of the board and the general section are more for diagnosing problems, that section gets feedback that's usually less strong in tone, unless someone is obviously suffering or causing others to suffer. And I'd be interested to hear your ongoing story, at least. I'm very glad to hear that the conversations with your husband that the board has helped prompt have been so useful for you both.
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  #29  
Old 11-26-2011, 08:52 PM
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Hi ChloeJane, I've been reading this thread with interest, and knowing that you came here for help around your husband's disrespect issue, it must be hard having everyone challenge your boundaries. These are caring people but sometimes it can feel harsh.

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Originally Posted by ChloeJane View Post
It’s a funny response to being able to have multiple partners/relationships for some people that I have seen before over the years; the only context/role modeling they have for seeing more than one person is affairs and/or cheating, so they’re not used to being able to talk about their desires, feelings and issues around both in a group/with more than one partner/at all in some cases.
I think you hit the nail on the head here. Even if your husband has poly experience, he's still living in a society where cheating is the model for multiple relationships. It may be that when you and he sat down and decided how your triad would function, some part of him did not feel comfortable asking for what he wanted. Or maybe what felt ok at the time has changed for him and he hasn't communicated that. I know for me, if I were falling in love with someone and I was told I could not text them or contact them without a third party's permission, I would find that really hard to bear. (Do you limit his contact with other friends and family, or just with her?) For whatever reason, he must have figured doing it behind your back was easier than talking to you about changing the rules. Hopefully in your more recent conversations, he has been able to tell you more honestly what he needs in order to have a functional relationship with this woman, if that's something you're ok with him pursuing. Maybe you and she are also getting to a point where you need one-on-one time to develop your relationship? It seems like the three of you are overdue for some conversations about how things are moving along, and what everyone wants. Make it super super clear to him how much it hurts when he agrees to one thing but does another, and that he should never agree to something he can't truly accept and abide by. And then, of course, don't make him agree to something he can't accept.

Sounds like you've found a wonderful woman, who is not willing to break your trust. I hope you work this out and have lots more fun together. A little more communication and it seems you've got something beyond the wildest dreams of most folks!
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  #30  
Old 11-26-2011, 09:44 PM
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Default Thank You!

I have to say that I’m oddly happy that I’ve been home with my first real bout of sickness in a couple of years during this unfolding of events. It’s given me a real chance to reflect, engage in dialogue with you fine people, and come to my husband, and soon our girlfriend with a lot of clarity. In my normal everyday life I don't have a great deal of time to sit down and write this much/reflect this much - it's a much longer process! I’m sure part of Ray’s “do you have a split personality?” feelings come from the unusual amount of growth that has happened in a relatively short amount of time.

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Originally Posted by AnnabelMore View Post
What made me come around completely to thinking that your situation is a healthy one was that:
- the boundaries are about very reasonable worries concerning your husband's tendency to deal horribly with NRE, not about trying to keep the third in a "safe" controlled position in relation to the two of you
- you're open to and embracing of the possibility of love and of the relationship becoming whatever it wants to be in time
- you see these boundaries as a starting place and are open to changing them as needs/comfort dictate
- you obviously respect your third and aren't engaging in the deeply problematic, controlling behaviors that some couples do, like demanding exclusivity before she's had a chance to form anything like a real partnership with you
I truly feel heard and understood here – I feel like you get me, and for that HUGS!! While I appreciate the challenging and question asking, I think that I’m a total weirdo in that I do all of that myself all of the time anyways. In my ridiculous assumption that you all would psychically know that about me already, I was a little caught off guard and felt pretty misinterpreted

We are still exploring whether we want to have individual sexual relationships with each other. At present, I do not – I am very much enjoying the dynamic and energy that we are creating. S joined us because she very much wants and loves to be part of a 3 – she doesn’t do as well in independent relationships, and grew up with two brothers and misses that feeling of happiness between three people. She has said time and time again how much fun she is having. My husband still maintains that he is not interested in an outside sexual relationship with S, but that he would like to be able to txt her if he's thinking about her (something we'll be talking about on our date on Sunday, which thankfully was not set up as a sex date so that we can really focus on good communication... well... mostly focus, we have a tendency to get a little distracted by each other in general.) This may change for her, for me, for my husband – we’re going to have some long talks in the upcoming weeks/months, I’m sure, and if it evolves there, great. For the time being, we have that boundary to avoid complications while we’re establishing a functional and respectful framework that takes everyone’s wants/needs/desires into consideration.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AnnabelMore View Post
I also do think that everyone gets that your husband's boundary-breaking behavior is not ok -- some people have mentioned it, and it's very clear on other threads that we don't cotton to selfish, thoughtless overstepping here -- but people are choosing to focus instead on what they see as the bigger issue, which is the question of where the boundaries are coming from and whether they're helpful or harmful.
Totally agree with this as well – I think though, that in such a new relationship the bigger issue is the violation/transgression of boundaries. There is plenty of time for exploring whether those boundaries will fit long term down the way, but basic respect, honesty and communication are WAY more important to me at this point.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AnotherConfused View Post
I know for me, if I were falling in love with someone and I was told I could not text them or contact them without a third party's permission, I would find that really hard to bear. (Do you limit his contact with other friends and family, or just with her?) For whatever reason, he must have figured doing it behind your back was easier than talking to you about changing the rules.
My husband admitted to his core reasons for contacting her – he felt left out, as S and I have a lot of communication (all of which he reads with her knowledge) including letters, emails and txts. Instead of coming to me with those feelings of being left out, he consciously decided to take what he wanted – there’s where the problem lay for me - not in his desire to communicate, but in his violation of our boundaries. I don't believe his motivations lay in not thinking that talking to me would be easier, he was simply doing what he wanted because he had some dark-cloud feelings about the whole situation and didn’t want to have to talk with me about it (RED FLAGS FOR ME! Which is why I freaked).

We are talking about it as a group on Sunday to revisit where everyone is with it. I absolutely do NOT control who my husband has relationships with. If/when I have had issues (his very abusive/controlling ex wife contacting him out of the blue, and me feeling very protective and threatened for example) I sit down and talk with him about it until I feel comfortable (I am even friends with some of his exes at this point!) Mind you, when she came to town last summer, I had a lot of reservations around that (she was extremely abusive to me in the past, and to him, we still have work to do there!) He was respectful of that after long talks, in which I shared how much I feared her hurting him, judging him/us, etc. We'll get there, I know we will, but she is a total exception to the rule!

Thanks for your insight and questions. I think it has helped me realize again that my husband has a lot of shame and rebellion in him around asking for what he wants/needs, and often acts like a warrior when he comes up against uncomfortable feelings, instead of my life partner. I have so much compassion and love for him and his struggles, and know that he is a truly good man, but that doesn't mean that I will EVER excuse his bad behaviour; it’s all about laying down good ground rules and holding fast to keeping things honest and going great.
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Last edited by ChloeJane; 11-26-2011 at 09:50 PM.
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