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Old 11-05-2011, 06:01 AM
OhSnap OhSnap is offline
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Default Wife thinks that opening up the marriage will help. I disagree.

In 2008 my wife suffered from a stroke. This has caused the left half of her body to become completely paralysed. It's been a very rough couple of years and we've gone through many changes, but we have managed to find some semblance of normalcy.

For the first 2 years, the lack of sex was never really an issue. I've had so much to do that it was one of the last things on my mind. It's just that I've started missing it since the beginning of this year.

I've discussed this with my wife and she believes that setting up an arrangement with one of our closest friends is the solution. She thinks that this is the safest option since her friend and I are trustworthy and STD-free, and she's known us both for most of her life. Her friend is a little bit nervous but is okay with the idea as long as my wife and I approve.

Here's why I don't believe that this will help, and why I have decided not to go through with the arrangement...

I don't miss the physical aspect of sex. Physical gratification has never been important to me, and is something that I can easily live without.

I miss the emotional aspect of sex. I'm a very physical person, meaning that I like to show and share affection and care through kisses, hugs, holding hands, cuddling in bed etc. For me, sex is a very good way to emotionally bond.

This is something that I've been finding difficult to articulate verbally to my wife, and I don't have anybody to talk to about this in my life (other than a counsellor, who hasn't been very helpful). I don't really have any unmet needs per se. I don't feel emotionally lonely and I don't believe that another relationship will make me any happier. I don't miss sex, in itself (if that makes sense) but I do miss having sex with my wife. That is why I have been apprehensive to starting a relationship with our friend.

I can understand why my wife has built a bit of a wall around herself, and has become physically closed off. It isn't my intention to pressure her into doing something that she doesn't want to do.

If you do believe that opening the relationship will help, I'd like to know why because I genuinely don't understand. What I think would help, is alternatives to sex, but my wife disagrees. Any other perspectives would be appreciated.

My wife will also be reading this, so if anyone has any direct advice for her, that would be great.
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  #2  
Old 11-05-2011, 08:07 AM
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Anneintherain Anneintherain is offline
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Well of course, as the one who would be "benefiting" from opening the marriage, if you don't think it would help, of course it wouldn't.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OhSnap View Post
What I think would help, is alternatives to sex, but my wife disagrees. .
So what are these alternatives you think WOULD help, and why is your wife disagreeing they would when you obviously think they would help you? Does she just not want to do them, participate in them, insist they wouldn't help? You are the one who knows what would help you, so for her to tell you that you are wrong could strike a far deeper issue that she may be trying to avoid.

edit: if you think there would be benefits but just don't want to admit it because you're worried that your wife is OK with the "idea" but not the application, it can't hurt to spend some serious time considering it if that would make the difference if you were going to live happily ever after or not, but if you are content and happy, there is certainly no rush or even sense to push for something that you seem uncomfortable with.
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Last edited by Anneintherain; 11-05-2011 at 08:18 AM.
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Old 11-05-2011, 08:15 AM
MorningTwilight MorningTwilight is offline
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Would it be acceptable to you to tentatively date this friend and see if there is any chemistry?

You could set sex aside, and just enjoy each other's company, and see what happens. Maybe sex will happen, and maybe it won't. You don't have to force the relationship to go someplace; just see where it naturally wants to go.
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Old 11-05-2011, 11:07 AM
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Magdlyn Magdlyn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OhSnap View Post

Here's why I don't believe that this will help, and why I have decided not to go through with the arrangement...

I don't miss the physical aspect of sex. Physical gratification has never been important to me, and is something that I can easily live without.

I miss the emotional aspect of sex. I'm a very physical person, meaning that I like to show and share affection and care through kisses, hugs, holding hands, cuddling in bed etc. For me, sex is a very good way to emotionally bond.
I don't understand why her physical issues preclude cuddling, holding hands, hugging and kissing. ???

Is she afraid you'll get too aroused and want to cum? Why? Surely she could get you off with her good hand or hold you while you masturbate, if you feel the need for a release.
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Old 11-05-2011, 02:39 PM
MichelleZed MichelleZed is offline
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If you don't want the friend, you don't want the friend. There's really nothing more that can be said.

It sounds like you do want to reconnect with your wife, and that she's feeling like she isn't able to do that right now, or is afraid you'll want more than she can give. Maybe the two of you could talk about the kind of physical/emotional intimacy you're looking for and try a few things out. Start slow! Perhaps you can snuggle on the couch while watching a movie.
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Old 11-05-2011, 05:22 PM
opalescent opalescent is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OhSnap View Post
In 2008 my wife suffered from a stroke. This has caused the left half of her body to become completely paralysed. It's been a very rough couple of years and we've gone through many changes, but we have managed to find some semblance of normalcy.

For the first 2 years, the lack of sex was never really an issue. I've had so much to do that it was one of the last things on my mind. It's just that I've started missing it since the beginning of this year.

I've discussed this with my wife and she believes that setting up an arrangement with one of our closest friends is the solution. She thinks that this is the safest option since her friend and I are trustworthy and STD-free, and she's known us both for most of her life. Her friend is a little bit nervous but is okay with the idea as long as my wife and I approve.

Here's why I don't believe that this will help, and why I have decided not to go through with the arrangement...

I don't miss the physical aspect of sex. Physical gratification has never been important to me, and is something that I can easily live without.

I miss the emotional aspect of sex. I'm a very physical person, meaning that I like to show and share affection and care through kisses, hugs, holding hands, cuddling in bed etc. For me, sex is a very good way to emotionally bond.

This is something that I've been finding difficult to articulate verbally to my wife, and I don't have anybody to talk to about this in my life (other than a counsellor, who hasn't been very helpful). I don't really have any unmet needs per se. I don't feel emotionally lonely and I don't believe that another relationship will make me any happier. I don't miss sex, in itself (if that makes sense) but I do miss having sex with my wife. That is why I have been apprehensive to starting a relationship with our friend.

I can understand why my wife has built a bit of a wall around herself, and has become physically closed off. It isn't my intention to pressure her into doing something that she doesn't want to do.

My wife will also be reading this, so if anyone has any direct advice for her, that would be great.
The love between you is so obvious. She wants to make sure you are happy and have your needs met. You miss your wife intimately and want to make her happy. Because of this love and caring, you two are way ahead in figuring out how to make each other happy and continue growing your marriage, whether that relationship ultimately includes other people sexually or not.

I would suggest finding another counselor for you, OhSnap, and maybe your wife. Sometimes counselors just don't work out. If your wife finds the counselor is helping her, then find someone just for you.

I also suggest finding a sex therapist that is familiar with and used to dealing with issues of sexuality and severe injury. You and your wife are certainly not alone in dealing with paralysis and sexuality. There must be therapists with experience in helping folks in your same situation. I suggest checking out AASECT - The American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists. They are at: http://www.aasect.org/. Plus, if y'all do go the non-monogamy route, these folks are less likely to be judgmental about that.

Also, have you or she looked at the Five Love Languages? (If you google that term, the book will come up as well several online tests. There are threads about the Five Love Languages here too - it comes up often.) Knowing your love language is helpful because you can articulate to others how you feel loved and how you express love to others. The author states that people express love and want love expressed to them differently. And if you have two people with different love languages, communication issues can come up. I would bet money that you express and feel love through Physical Touch. Before her stroke, you and your wife might have been the same love language. Or maybe not. At any rate, her love language may have shifted because of the impact of the stroke - or it may not have but the situation may have moved her away from expressing love the way she would have before the stroke. Take a look at the book and the tests - it can be a useful tool to understanding each other a bit better.

It seems like non-monogamy for you is not what you want right now, and maybe ever. You miss physical intimacy with your wife (which does not automatically equate to sexual intercourse).

I am going to make some assumptions about how I think I would feel in your wife's situation. This may or may not be useful for your wife. First, a woman's sexuality, and desire, is so dependent on an almost infinite set of changing factors - hormonal interactions, stress, child care, medical problems, issues at work, emotional state, sleep and all kinds of other things. Upset those delicate interactions with severe trauma and well, I think I too would probably find it easier, and maybe necessary if only for a while, to physically close myself off. I would not feel like my body was my body but something new and unfamiliar. I might hate parts or all of that new body at least some of the time. Touch is so important to intimacy; I do not know how I would get that feeling of intimacy without being able to feel touch on large parts of my body. [I'm sure there are ways but I have trouble conceptualizing it.] Since I am restricted on what I can feel on large parts of my body, that would likely affect how the rest of my body feels and moves in small as well as larger ways. I doubt I would feel sexy at all, at least for a while. My idea of sexy would have to be completely rebuilt and reorganized. If I had problems speaking or organizing my thoughts, that would compound any and all frustrations I had.

I urge you and your wife to find someone, even if they are not expert in injury and sexuality, to talk about how to meet each other's needs and wants. You (OhSnap) are open to ways to do that that are not traditional sex (i.e. intercourse). That will help. Non-monogamy may be one way to do that - down the road after lots of other avenues have been explored.
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Old 11-06-2011, 05:07 AM
FireChild FireChild is offline
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Well if you're not into it then no it's not gonna help. I think like others have said she might be worried you'll want more than you can give. I also agree with every counselor not being for every person.
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Old 11-07-2011, 12:30 AM
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redpepper redpepper is offline
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It sounds like you see sex as an intimate connection that deeply bonds you to another rather than sex being a physical act that relieves you and is fun to participate in. Is your wife okay with you establishing a love relationship that includes sex with this woman? Or is her expectation that you only have sex an not get any closer than the friendship you already have? What does the woman expect and how does she view sex? Is she aware that it could be the beginning of a loving partnership?

I wonder if your wife is struggling with her body and has given up on thoughts of closeness. If you are content to cuddle and kiss her and masturbate then whats the issue here? Is it her issues around that? Is there anything that she can participate in or that she wants sexually? Or is there no connection to her body...? Its hard to grasp what is going on for her in this.
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Old 11-09-2011, 02:00 PM
OhSnap OhSnap is offline
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My wife and I have read through all of your posts. Appreciated (especially opalescent's kinda large post). She can be a bit stubborn which is partly why she believes that this is a good idea, so it's good to get a variety of views. I mostly agree with what has been posted.

My wife is still considering polyamory (I honestly feel kind of stupid for not understanding how this will make our situation any better). But our plan is to work around our current schedules so that we have more time for each other.

It is largely an insecurity issue on her end. I want to show her that I don't think any less of her but it's difficult when only one person is "into it". She used to have a very active lifestyle so this hasn't helped her self-esteem.

Also, there are other complications that have arisen due to her stroke, making sex, romance and intimacy a bit more difficult. There's also been a shift in personality and other such issues.

I just want to clarify...

Quote:
Is she afraid you'll get too aroused and want to cum? Why? Surely she could get you off with her good hand or hold you while you masturbate, if you feel the need for a release.
I have no interest in sexual gratification. Most people don't believe me when I say this. It gets a bit depressing.

If anyone has anything else to add, that'd be great. Have a good day/night.
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Old 11-09-2011, 02:41 PM
Times2 Times2 is offline
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Are you afraid that you will fall in love with the friend? You have equated intimate contact with emotional attachment so that maybe this is your fear. Regardless of the answer to that question, if you don't want to do it, then don't, it won't help.

Is your wife afraid that she is not being fair to you because she is incapable of the intimacy now? Maybe that is the reason she thinks it's a good idea. Either way, it is very obvious there is a lot of love there.

There are lots of ways to show intimate emotional affections. Cuddling close, brushing her hair for her, a gentle kiss anywhere, a stroking of the cheek, millions of ways to say 'Ilove you'. I don't think that is the issue. I think you are both having the discussions that lead to a decision of polyamory. She seems to be worried about your needs and you seem to be rolling it around in your head whether you even want to take the chance you might develop feelings for this other person....or you may simply not be into this other person.

In my opinion, you and your wife are in the early stages of this growing conversation. Be open and honest. Say exactly to one another what you feel and mean. Don't censor your feelings or words. Talk about what each of you expect should you go through with it and discuss this with the other woman as well. Don't only discuss what the immediate results might be, but also the long term. Would it happen a second time? What if it's still happening in the years to come? What if its a disaster? Would you still all be friends? There is lots to consider. I think the most important questions are gonna be between you and your wife right now.

Good Luck
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