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  #1  
Old 10-09-2012, 11:35 PM
Gidean Gidean is offline
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Default Any advice welcome.

I am in an interesting situation. My partner and I have been together for many years. She is bi, but with a slight leaning towards men (very slight). I am... well barely Bi. I have not actually found myself sexually attracted to a man, but I would not be against the idea. I am accepting of her, should she choose to have different partners, as long as she is open and honest about everything that happens. Only recently has she actually taken me up on this. She is not alright with me having other partners. I have had a bad history of infidelity and she and I are trying to make our relationship work in spite of this. What this means though, is that she is afraid of me drifting away from her, of losing me to another woman. Here's where things get interesting. She wants to have two partners, something I think is referred to as a V-type relationship? With her in the middle. And she would be alright with me having feelings for the other man... but I don't know that that will happen. My whole thing is... I would love to love everyone. I am unsure as to the word necessary here, but I would be fine with my love at home and various flings outside of it. But wanting a long lasting relationship with two men... I don't know if I can be happy there. But I want her to be happy. And she is willing to forgo the whole thing if it bothers me... I worry that I am not right for her.
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  #2  
Old 10-10-2012, 01:45 AM
JaneQSmythe JaneQSmythe is offline
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I'm going to chop up and rearrange bits of your post here in my response to put together the things I want to respond to. Please feel free to correct/clarify if this changes the context (and implications) of what you have said.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gidean View Post
I am accepting of her, should she choose to have different partners, as long as she is open and honest about everything that happens. Only recently has she actually taken me up on this... She wants to have two partners, something I think is referred to as a V-type relationship? With her in the middle. But wanting a long lasting relationship with two men... I don't know if I can be happy there.
First off, yes, that would be Vee relationship - unless the two men are also involved, in which case it would be a triangle/delta. Openness and honesty are two things which many polyamorists agree are necessary to the whole endeavor (and even there you will find some disagreement - we all "do" poly differently) - so, from my standpoint, that is not a bad requirement.

So, you say that you are accepting of her having other partners BUT are unsure about a long-term Vee with two men? Is this because you are uncomfortable with her having another male partner or because you would be more comfortable with her having more short-term, non-committed relationships (or both)?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gidean View Post
She is not alright with me having other partners. I have had a bad history of infidelity and she and I are trying to make our relationship work in spite of this. What this means though, is that she is afraid of me drifting away from her, of losing me to another woman.
Reading here you may come across the term OPP - many use it negatively. It usually means "One Penis Policy" but can mean "One Pussy Policy." I don't think it necessarily is a bad thing if both partners are in agreement. BUT I think that you will see a lot of advice here that discusses that imbalance - when the "rules" are different for two partners then resentment can ensue - and it often NOT a good long term solution. She is afraid of losing you to another woman, but expects you to not be afraid of losing her to another man (or woman)? Hmmm.

I think the history of infidelity means that you have to be very, very careful - but I think that I would separate that issue from the fear of losing you, it sounds kind of like an excuse as to why she can do what she wants and you can't. I think the infidelity/trust issue has to be addressed by itself - it sounds as though there are unresolved issues here...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gidean View Post
And she would be alright with me having feelings for the other man... but I don't know that that will happen...I am... well barely Bi. I have not actually found myself sexually attracted to a man, but I would not be against the idea.
Of COURSE you don't know that it will happen. This is all theoretical - you haven't even MET the hypothetical other guy yet! There is no reason to expect that you would fall for a guy just because your partner does - even if you were bisexual to the nth degree. Bisexual people aren't attracted to every person of either gender that they meet - just like purely straight/gay people aren't attracted to every member of the opposite/same sex they meet. On the other hand he could turn out to be the ONE guy that floats your boat...you never know, you WON'T know until you meet him.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gidean View Post
My partner and I have been together for many years... I want her to be happy. And she is willing to forgo the whole thing if it bothers me... I worry that I am not right for her.
Only she can say whether you are "right" for her - at this time, in this relationship. She is with you by choice - and has been for many years. I would take that for what it is worth and strive to be the best person and partner you can - both for her sake and for yours - as should she.

******

For the record, for years and years my husband was fine with me pursuing relationships with other women, but thought that he couldn't "handle" me having a relationship with another man. And I was ok with this - being bi, I thought that I "had" my guy and was "looking for" my gal. Then Dude happened. I wasn't prepared for it - I handled it badly (you can read about it in the /Jackassery/ portion of my blog here).

After a period of turmoil, though, it turns out that he could handle it - we have been a functional co-habitating Vee for 18 months now, and I am amazed by how ALL of our relationships have evolved and strengthened in this short period of time. Was it because, after 19 years together, he knew I wouldn't be "leaving" him for anyone? Was it because Dude is his best friend and they love each other as much as two straight guys can? Both? I don't know - I don't think you can make any generalizations. In my opinion pretty much everything depends on the individual people involved - practice trumps theory any day of the week.

JaneQ
__________________
Me: poly bi female, in an "open-but-not-looking" Vee-plus with -
MrS: hetero polyflexible male, live-in husband (21+ yrs)
Dude: hetero poly male, live-in boyfriend (3+ yrs) and MrS's best friend
Lotus: poly bi female, "it's complicated" relationships with Dude/JaneQ/MrS (1+ years)
TT: poly bi male, married to Lotus, FB with JaneQ
VV and MsJ: bi-women with male primaries, LTR LDR FWBs to JaneQ


My poly blogs here:
The Journey of JaneQSmythe
The Notebook of JaneQSmythe

Last edited by JaneQSmythe; 10-10-2012 at 01:48 AM.
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  #3  
Old 10-10-2012, 02:16 AM
Gidean Gidean is offline
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To clarify, the discomfort arrises from her having other, long term, male relations. I think I could handle her having another long term female partner because I believe that we could eventually work into a triad. The fear with the long term male is that I worry that he and I would not be any more than friends. Can this work in the end? I am fine with her having short term partners male and female. I feel that that kind of relation is healthy and natural.
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  #4  
Old 10-10-2012, 03:49 PM
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MusicalRose MusicalRose is offline
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Hi Gidean.

I am a female in a V with two males at the moment. They both identify as heteroflexible (e.g. they are open to the idea of sex play with other males but not particularly drawn to it) and they are not involved with each other at all. They are just good friends. My fiance and I have been together for four years and my boyfriend and I have been involved for about a year now and officially dating as boyfriend/girlfriend for about nine months. They are both open to explore other relationships, and at the moment my fiance is exploring a romantic connection with a married woman (her husband is fully aware and okay with how things are going so far).

Other long term relationships don't necessarily need to threaten your standing with her. NRE can be a scary time, and it might do you some good to do some reading around the forums about it. Both of you could make the mistake of thinking the intensity of NRE means she is more in love with her new partner or that she is falling out of love with you. It never lasts though. NRE is impossible to maintain for any more than about two years for most people, and can be as short as 4-6 months. So, in a sense, a relationship that lasts long enough that she falls out of NRE could end up being less threatening to your relationship. However, this is a very difficult limit to put on someone else's relationship. If you have a short term limit that is more than just a one night or one week deal, then you run the chance of them falling in love or getting caught in NRE. At that point, it is difficult and painful to just cut someone out if the only reason is because it is against the rules to date them any longer than that. If it is the case that you don't want anything serious on her end, then it might be better to put rules in place that make the relationship more like swinging, where physical play is allowed, but you take steps to make sure you don't explore other emotional connections.

And just like Jane said, even if it was a woman that your partner ends up in a relationship with, you might not be attracted to that woman or that woman may not be attracted to you. So you have a chance of being in the same situation of being in a V whether your wife's new partner is male or female.

I would talk to your partner about your needs here. If you do not want to be in a mono/poly relationship long term (where she is poly and you are mono) then you need to express this to her. Perhaps you can have that arrangement for a few months, and then she can tell you ways that you can show her that you are trustworthy now in order to build up to being able to have other experiences outside of your relationship for both of you and not just her. If this is something she outright puts her foot down about and it is something that you don't think you can live with and still have your needs met, then tell her you do not wish to open up your relationship at all and then it will be her decision to stay in a closed relationship with you or to break up to seek a poly-style relationship.

I guess from my perspective, I am never going to leave either of the men in my life because I found something "better." I have good relationships with each of them, and I would not end those relationships unless something was wrong in them. If we have problems, I work on them and try to fix them and find a compromise we can all live with. I don't just skip around to something different. I've overcome some really big hurdles between my fiance and me and between my boyfriend and me. This doesn't necessarily mean your partner isn't going to cut and run if/when the going gets tough, but if she is that way anyhow, then I don't know that you have any more security in monogamy/monoamory then you would in polyamory. If she doesn't want to be with you, she is going to leave anyhow.

It may be a good idea to see a poly-friendly relationship counselor and talk about some of these past infidelities and trust issues and make sure that the two of you are in a secure space before you would decide to open up your relationship. Best of luck to the both of you. :-)
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  #5  
Old 10-10-2012, 05:30 PM
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nycindie nycindie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gidean View Post
The fear with the long term male is that I worry that he and I would not be any more than friends.
And what would be so wrong or bad about that? How nice to have a friendship with your metamour! Or is it that you only want a triad? I'm confused by this statement.
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  #6  
Old 10-10-2012, 05:33 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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Quote:
The fear with the long term male is that I worry that he and I would not be any more than friends.
And being friends with your metamour (the lover of your lover) is BAD how?

I think the fear is speaking to something else. What does that fear speak to?

I see you are still working out your thoughts. That's great! Keep going!

I like to work out my own in terms of wants, needs, limits so I can better see where I might chose my next course of action. Below I chopped up your original post so you can see what info seems missing to me, what you might need clarificaiton on, where you could grow. You are you guys -- you know your own reality better than me. Maybe seeing the information organized in a different way helps you in your continuing conversation.

I do not expect you to answer ME on the questions I raise. Your answers are to each other. It is not any of my biz.

I just want to lift up that before you go there, know where you are going TO. And know HOW to go there so you are in right relationship to each other. Everyone figures that out for themselves. DH and I work with our playbook.

You and your Sweetie are busy writing your own life story here -- and your own way of going. Kudos! Keep on living and thinking together. Don't ever stop. Life Shared is a trip of a journey.

I just offer it in the spirit of "hey, maybe this organization of it could help you organize and clarify your thoughts when you talk to your sweetie some more."

Do with it what you will.

HTH!
GalaGirl
-----------------------------------

SHE WANTS
  • to be the female hinge in "V" shape polyamorous relationship. She would be the Shared Sweetie. (Heirarchy? Not? What type open relationship V is this that she wants?)

SHE NEEDS
  • to be free of fear I will cheat again (She will do___ to address her fear. I will do __ to help on this one.)
  • to be free of fear that I will drift away toward another partner. (She will do ___ so I have no reason to feel my reasonable needs are not being met "at home." I will do ____ to help on this one and give her a list of my needs. Are my needs negotiable? Realistic? Reasonable? )

SHE IS WILLING TO
  • drop the whole idea if I am not willing to go there without acting out at me for exercise my right to "no" she has given me. (Am I willing try opening up? Am I prepared enough to if so? Do i know clearly what I am signing up for? Does she? )
  • if my feelings develop for her other, and it is returned by him, she is willing to consider ending the "V" and negotiating it to a new "triad" shape polyship

SHE IS NOT WILLING TO
  • ?

HER LIMITS
  • I do not get another partner because of my cheating past. (Soft limit (it could change in time?) Or hard limit? (no way, EVAH!) Am I happy with that limit if it is hard?)


I WANT

  • to know her reasonable needs that are actually meetable by me are being met by me. (I think that is what you mean by "I want her to be happy." But actually you cannot control her happiness mood meter. You can only do /not do actions. So she will help you by giving list of actions she expects you to do? Not do? And you will do? Not do them? Is this list negotiable? realistic? reasonable?)

I NEED
  • to be free of worry that I am not right/enough for her. ( I will help do this by___ . She will help do this by ____.)

I WOULD BE WILLING
  • To tell her NO. I am not going along with something I'm not 100% for or not prepared well for. (I'm not hearing this loud and clear. Are you willing to say NO in the interest of perserving your own best healths? Mental health, emotional health, physical health, spiritual health?)
  • To go there, and not act out at her later if it turns out my choosing to go there is not what I thought it would be like. (I'm not hearing this loud and clear.)

  • To have sex with a man with her (AND be situational bi?) even though my default is not bi. (Is that what this means? "I have not actually found myself sexually attracted to a man, but I would not be against the idea")
  • I am accepting of her wanting to be ethically non-monogamous, should she choose to have different partners (Am I polyamory educated enough? Swing educated enough? What she want?)
  • Willing to think about a triad? Threesome? with her and her Other if it grows that way naturally. (Get vocabulary with her down pat so you both are talking about the same thing. I get lots of mixed messages in your post.)
  • I would be fine with my love at home and various flings outside of it. (again, what is the open relationship model(s) here? Is she talking poly? And you are talking swinging? or some kind of combo? Where is the saturation point? 2 others? 20? 2000?)

I WOULD NOT BE WILLING
  • ?

MY LIMITS
  • lacking knowledge of vocab. (not criticisim, just pointing places you could grow)
  • lacking knowledge of polyamory and swinging (not criticisim, just pointing places you could grow)
  • could work on my articulation skills and asking my partner for the clarify skills (not criticisim, just pointing places you could grow)
  • I don't know if I can be happy in a long lasting polyamorous "V". (A threesome hard swing is one thing but a life relationship is another. Is THAT what you mean?)
  • She must be open and honest about everything that happens in her other relationships. (poly? or swing?) (To what degree? Full disclosure? What if the OTHER partner does not want to share their private personal details with her with YOU. Then what? You expect her to betray other's confidence to enlighten you anyway? Could sit to determine what is MUST have info and what is NICE TO HAVE info from your hinge. What info do you want going or not going the other way? Hinge is responsible for defending the TMI wall.)

COUPLE AT LARGE WANTS
  • to assess terrain well before choosing to open?

COUPLE AT LARGE NEEDS


  • ID common pitfalls to polyamory/swing/whatever model it is they are trying to pick for themselves
    • in the mental health bucket
    • in the emotional health bucket (jealousy issues?)
    • in the physical health bucket (sex health?)
    • in the spiritual health bucket
  • ID how they could cope
  • ID couple strengths/weakness in communication/conflict resolution skills
  • ID human and non-human resources required for success (time? money? willingness?)

COUPLE AT LARGE WILLING/ NOT WILLING
  • offer the newbie?
  • offer themselves?


COUPLE LIMITS
  • not yet done talking?

Last edited by GalaGirl; 10-10-2012 at 06:00 PM.
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  #7  
Old 10-11-2012, 03:47 AM
Gidean Gidean is offline
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Wow, let me say that I am surprised and quite frankly delighted at the responses on this forum. I cannot say how much these answers have helped. It is, however, slightly overwhelming, so I will attempt to address these things one by one in the following posts.
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  #8  
Old 10-11-2012, 03:58 AM
Gidean Gidean is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
And what would be so wrong or bad about that? How nice to have a friendship with your metamour! Or is it that you only want a triad? I'm confused by this statement.
I have nothing against being friends with him... I just... I don't know. She wants there to be more, she wants a long term relationship between the three of us, but I am uncertain if that is something that I want. I want to be the main lover of my lover. And I am indeed concerned with being replaced. My problem is not with becoming friends, but with my insecurity.
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Old 10-11-2012, 04:02 AM
Gidean Gidean is offline
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Another thing is that I used to desire a poly relationship, having a primary partner and pursuing other partners elsewhere, but none seriously. That is something that would make me ideally happy. The V-type relationship with two equal men is what makes her ideally happy. I worry that only her getting exactly what she wants, and me dealing with a situation that is, in my opinion, less than ideal, will lead to further inequalities.
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Old 10-11-2012, 04:11 AM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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Quote:
I am indeed concerned with being replaced. My problem is not with becoming friends, but with my insecurity.
Quote:
Another thing is that I used to desire a poly relationship, having a primary partner and pursuing other partners elsewhere, but none seriously. That is something that would make me ideally happy.

The V-type relationship with two equal men is what makes her ideally happy.

I worry that only her getting exactly what she wants, and me dealing with a situation that is, in my opinion, less than ideal, will lead to further inequalities.
That is why you talk to your sweetie. I do not expect you to answer point by point. I don't need to know your private biz!

But it sounds like in open model relationships?

http://www.cat-and-dragon.com/stef/p...iola/open.html

You sound like you favor a primary-secondary flavor to it? Maybe a 1C?

She wants a non-heirarchy thing? A 2?

Sort yourselves out. Read article and talk to each OTHER. Also read on jealousy/insecure and opening up stuff.

http://www.morethantwo.com/
http://www.serolynne.com/poly_jealousy.htm
http://www.practicalpolyamory.com/do...documents.html
http://openingup.net/resources/free-...om-opening-up/

GL!
GG

Last edited by GalaGirl; 10-11-2012 at 04:16 AM.
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