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Old 03-28-2013, 04:18 PM
willowstar willowstar is offline
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Default Knowing when to push

Hello all

I am new to this board, but not new to poly. I would love to get some perspective on pushing a partner beyond a comfort zone, and about getting my needs met. I have two separate situations going on, but I realized that the common theme is me asking for what I need, and feeling like I have the right to ask for it and to get it.

I have been married for 17 years to a wonderful man and we have three kids. I was poly before we met, he knew that, but he was mono but open to learning about poly. For the most part, however, we have lived a mostly mono life because we found it challenging to pursue poly while having young children. We both have a fairly low tolerance for drama, so adding anyone into the mix would have been too much for our family. We have attended poly events for many years, and I have been online on poly sites for all our married life, but we just never put a whole lot of energy into finding partners. I have had a few one night stand type situations, but nothing like a real, longer term relationship.

About 3 months ago, I reconnected with an old boyfriend, and someone I consider a best friend. He and I have always had a deeply loving and trusting relationship. When we saw each other at a reunion party just after the holidays, we both found that our attraction for each other had returned and was through the roof crazy. So, we were immediately thrown into NRE, and said all the things we had never said to each other, etc. I should mention that he is not poly, and has never considered himself so, and is married with children as well. His wife does know that we have a relationship, but on a very limited level. She is probably more tolerant than accepting, but has not denied him spending time with me, as long as it doesnt interfere with their family needs. He, however, is very open to poly and wants to explore this relationship with me.

My DH is working very hard to be okay with me having this other relationship. He knows and has met this man over the years, knows he is trustworthy and safe. But he struggles with his feelings of insecurity over my being with another man. We have been talking almost daily, connecting a lot more than we have in years, and working on helping him to feel secure enough to let me do this. Currently, I am not sexual with my boyfriend, as neither spouses are ready for that. But we are affectionate, kissing, cuddling, touch, etc.

After three months of this over-the-top NRE where we cannot act on our sexual attraction for each other, I am finding myself in a place where I feel the need to push for more. More from my DH, to allow more contact, more time, etc. And more from BF, to get us more time together from his wife, and not just fit me in where it happens to be convenient and he isnt rocking the boat at home. Ultimately, I want the whole shebang, date nights, sex, everything. But I dont expect I will get that at this point. We also live about 75 miles apart, and we dont have permission to be at each others homes, so out contact is limited to public places right now.

So, is three months long enough? For me to tell both of these guys to just man up and make this happen? I feel very selfish even asking for that. I feel I have been very loving and supportive, have spent countless hours helping everyone else feel good, making sure that other people feel good and safe. But bottom line is, seeing my BF for a couple of hours once or twice a week is just not cutting it for me. I am a wreck in between, I miss him a lot. I know this is all NRE stuff, and it has just been so long since I've been "in" NRE at all, that I dont trust that what I feel is really in everyones best interests. I want to renegotiate the agreements, but BF is afraid if he pushes his wife too far she will just pull the plug on the relationship altogether. I feel like he can always ask, but make sure she knows its not an ultimatum, that we are just exploring the options available to us.

Thanks for any feedback!
Willow
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Old 03-28-2013, 04:33 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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You do not push against your husband's will. You request his willingness.

Quote:
I want to renegotiate the agreements, but BF is afraid if he pushes his wife too far she will just pull the plug on the relationship altogether. I feel like he can always ask, but make sure she knows its not an ultimatum, that we are just exploring the options available to us.
Could couch it in those terms.

"Not pushing, just checking in and reporting new feelings. Wanting to know where you stand at this time and what options are available at this time."

HOW you could tell DH your feelings for BF are changing and growing stronger? Maybe something like...
I would like to have a conversation about renegotiating boundaries with you to have your goodwill on board as I grow this other relationship to wherever it might grow.
I want to respect your wants, needs, and limits for HOW FAST this unfolds but at the same time meet my own wants, needs, and limits for it TO unfold.

I have this sheet that I want to look at together ifyou are willing. To help us to determine what is comfortable for you, what is comfortably uncomfortable (a bit squeaky, but you could grow to be ok with it and could take it on board at this time) and what is just off the chart still and you are NOT willing to consider at this time.

I value his goodwill and want to maintain it respectfully. I want to maintain our marriage health.

Could you be willing to talk to me Saturday night? Is that a good time? To review agreements, renegotiate where possible and have that be the new agreement for the next 3 mos?
And then go from there. You tend to your side of the equation with your husband and let BF tend to his side of the equation with his wife. Pushing BF to push her -- that's not respecting either of their need to progress at the pace they feel good at.

Galagirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 03-28-2013 at 04:59 PM.
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Old 03-28-2013, 04:50 PM
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YouAreHere YouAreHere is offline
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I would posit that your BF knows his wife, and if he doesn't want to push her, that's good reason to stay at a distance.

As a Mono person in a Mono/Poly relationship, I know that there are LOTS of things to deal with, even when you aren't opening an existing relationship. She may be "tolerant" but she may not be prepared for all the feelings that can come with this type of change to her marriage: a feeling of demotion from one-and-only to one-of-many, a feeling that her time with and attention from her hubby is now less than it was before. It can really feel like a loss that has to be grieved before someone can move on and be accepting (if they ever do get to that point).

Three months is not a lot of time in this case... in some cases, it can take Mono partners YEARS to deal with the emotional fallout this kind of change can spark.

At any rate, whatever she's thinking or feeling, I'd be very cautious about pushing the BF to keep needling his wife.
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Old 03-28-2013, 05:09 PM
willowstar willowstar is offline
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Thanks GalaGirl, that is good perspective to have. I guess I use the word "push" because that is how it feels to me. But you are correct, I do need to request his willingness to participate in the process, and that is exactly what we have been doing all along. Like I mentioned, we talk daily about this and he is aware of how my feelings have progressed.

One of the issues we have is that he seems to want to wait to renegotiate boundaries until after BF has spoken with his wife. I think he doesnt want to set boundaries without knowing her input. And, no, right now having all of us sit down together to talk about it is not in the cards. Which is one of my concerns. The only communication happening is all through me, the two guys dont talk with each other, and BF's wife doesnt want that either.

YouAreHere, thank you also. My DH also feels that he is mostly mono, although he would consider a relationship with the right person, he does not take steps to pursue that right now.

As far as BF and his wife, they are in more of a companiate relationship, they are not sexual and have not been for almost a year now. But I completely understand why she would feel displaced by someone new coming in. He is taking things slow with her, and I want to honor that for him and for her as well. My concern with this relationship is that he doesnt ever ask her for time with me. We have talked about having a "real date" for almost 6 weeks now, but "something" always comes up. Which translates to, he doesnt tell her he would like to spend time with me, he just waits to see whether that time ends up being free, which it never does. Which just leaves me feeling like I'm not as important in his life as he says I am. I feel like it should be okay for him to just say "Hey, we would like to go to a movie, can that happen? CAn you make sure the kids are covered?". But for whatever reason, that just isnt happening.

The truth is, I am having trouble balancing my need for contact in this new relationship with respecting the needs of everyone else. Most of the time I do okay with that, I can understand everyones perspective, and life is good with my two guys. Other times, I just feel sad that it cant be what we want. It feels like Im letting other people control my relationships, and I really dont like that. (rant over. LOL)

Thanks!
Willow
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Old 03-28-2013, 11:32 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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Quote:
One of the issues we have is that he seems to want to wait to renegotiate boundaries until after BF has spoken with his wife.
Could ask DH if this is true -- he is not willing to tell you what he is comfortable with until BF speaks to wife. If so, could he explain what need waiting for the wife input meets for him? More time? Something else? Could this need be met in a different way?

If you want to spend time with BF ask him out.

"Would you like to go to the movies on ______? I am asking you out on a date."

He can then check in with his calendar and his people and clear it or not.

If your BF is not meeting your need for planned dates, hang it on the BF. Not the wife. He chooses how to spend his time, how to manage his relationships. Let him own his end of the deal. If he's not willing to do what it takes to meet your request?

He is not willing and able to meet your request then.

Then you can choose what to do about it next:

1) You ask for changes and see what happens.

2) You accept this is how it is here with this BF for the time being and change your want for steady date night for the time being.

3) You keep your want and change your BF.

4) Something I cannot think of right now.

5) Mix and match the above.

It might be challenging to feel, but it is what it is. That is what dating time is FOR. To sort out compatability issues -- not just in personalities, but in schedules and lifestyles.

Quote:
It feels like Im letting other people control my relationships, and I really dont like that.
It is not others controlling you. It is having greater commitments and having to meet 4 people's wants, needs, and limits in your polyship. More people = more stuff to deal with. That's the reality you contend with. If you find you do not like this, could rethink being in this polyship with these players at these varying degrees of readiness/willingness.

I am sympathetic, but coming up on the limits of your configuration --- that just is what it is.

Hang in there!

Galagirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 03-28-2013 at 11:46 PM.
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Old 03-29-2013, 12:09 AM
dingedheart dingedheart is offline
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Quote:
His wife does know that we have a relationship, but on a very limited level.

This is a little confusing. They have a sexless marriage and are roommates/ companions. Are they both happy with this arrangement ? Have they done any counseling in regards to their sex life or how they got into this dynamic ?

Limited means what ? I mean having such a relationship how could she NOT see where this is really headed ?

This sounds like it could be a one sided solution to a sexless marriage. I say that because of her limited knowledge, his reluctance to really lay it all on the table ...which would include a meeting with all the players and lastly the comment on being displaced. Can't worry about being displaced as a wife and lover if you want to be a roommate/ companion. Hell you'd actually welcome it. I'm out with time served ...
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Old 03-29-2013, 04:32 AM
willowstar willowstar is offline
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[QUOTE=GalaGirl;193517]Could ask DH if this is true -- he is not willing to tell you what he is comfortable with until BF speaks to wife. If so, could he explain what need waiting for the wife input meets for him? More time? Something else? Could this need be met in a different way?

Yes, I have asked him and he admits it. He feels as though BF's wife is the "slowest player" in all of this, and therefore there is no point in negotiating a boundary she would not be comfortable with. But I am going to try talking with him again tomorrow, and see if he will at least discuss what he would be comfortable with in general.

If you want to spend time with BF ask him out.

Yup, I did that. Asked him to come to the Tattoo Nation movie next Thursday. Waiting to see if he will commit to the plan. He says he wants to, but he wants to keep the family happy too. His children do not know about this relationship, and wife doesnt want them to. She is definitely treating all of this like a secret affair, which I do have issues with, but they are not my kids, so I am not pushing that. We have not discussed with our kids either, but I dont have any problems getting out of the house when I need to.

If your BF is not meeting your need for planned dates, hang it on the BF. Not the wife. He chooses how to spend his time, how to manage his relationships. Let him own his end of the deal. If he's not willing to do what it takes to meet your request?

I am doing that now, thanks. I had a long day to think about all of this today and I realized that I am putting more on her than I should. He is new to all of this poly stuff, and just doesnt know how to do it. But I did confront him Tuesday when I saw him because we were supposed to go out this weekend, but the plan fell through when they all decided to go to family for the holiday weekend. I was really crushed that he didnt fight harder for us to have our time. I think he needs more time to think about what this all means for himself and for his family before we can more forward any more. It is far outside anything he ever thought possible in his life.



Hang in there!

Thank You!!

Quote:
His wife does know that we have a relationship, but on a very limited level.

This is a little confusing. They have a sexless marriage and are roommates/ companions. Are they both happy with this arrangement ? Have they done any counseling in regards to their sex life or how they got into this dynamic ?

Limited means what ? I mean having such a relationship how could she NOT see where this is really headed ?

This sounds like it could be a one sided solution to a sexless marriage. I say that because of her limited knowledge, his reluctance to really lay it all on the table ...which would include a meeting with all the players and lastly the comment on being displaced. Can't worry about being displaced as a wife and lover if you want to be a roommate/ companion. Hell you'd actually welcome it. I'm out with time served ...


He is not happy with it. He would still welcome a sexual relationship with her. She has opted out, and is no longer interested. So, while she has not said it, I do think this is a "way out" for her as well, but she has said that right now her hard line is no intercourse. So, there is none. But she knows that we have feelings for each other, that we meet, that there is kissing and all that. And she has not pulled the plug yet.

Thank you for all the feedback. It is all helpful.

Willow
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Old 03-29-2013, 10:59 AM
polyq4 polyq4 is offline
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Default devils advocate

I am going to play devils advocate here. Does she really know, have YOU spoken with her. He may be not telling everything thats going on. There are just 2 many pieces here that dont quite tie together.
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Old 03-29-2013, 12:20 PM
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nycindie nycindie is offline
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I didn't read the whole thread, but just wanted to say that it should never be a matter of pushing someone to give us what we want. Partners are partners, not parents - we don't need to ask permission of a partner. It is always a matter of letting them know that we will make our own choices to live our lives as we see fit, and that they have a choice to accept it or not.

If they do not accept it, then they can leave the relationship. Or then you will make a choice to give up what you want - but own that it is your choice! Your freedom to be who you are and conduct your life accordingly is not theirs to give.

If a partner is willing to accept that there are certain things we want and will go for, then we should inform them that things will definitely move toward that particular goal and, while we will go slowly until they are comfortable, but we will not be asking to be allowed our choices. One way to accommodate a hesitant partner is to set up a timetable for certain activities to occur and check in often to see how they are doing.

It is not up to a partner to give us permission to live our lives. It is up to them to do the necessary inner work to confront their conflicts, expectations, and issues and get beyond them or walk away from a situation they cannot accept.
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Last edited by nycindie; 03-29-2013 at 12:33 PM.
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Old 03-29-2013, 04:07 PM
WhatHappened WhatHappened is offline
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I'm also a little unclear on what you mean about


Quote:
His wife does know that we have a relationship, but on a very limited level.
Does this mean she doesn't really know how far it's gone between you two, or how far you two plan on taking it eventually?

Are you saying her knowledge is very limited or that your relationship with her husband is very limited?

I think you would do well to look at the bigger picture of what you post. It's all about what you want, your 'needs.' Honestly, there are very few things we need.

Quote:
After three months of this over-the-top NRE where we cannot act on our sexual attraction for each other, I am finding myself in a place where I feel the need to push for more.
Case in point. There are many things in life we can't or shouldn't act on. Our attraction to someone else's bank account, home, car. Our intense desire for ice cream or alcohol every night. Our desire for a 6 day weekend every week. When we focus all our attention on those desires, they grow and they begin to feel unmanageable and like something we must have. You know the story about the two wolves fighting inside each of us--the one that wins is the one we feed.

Have you stopped to consider this from the wife's perspective? Or the affects of all of this on your husband, your children, this guy, his wife, their children? I get the impression both your husband and his wife are not terribly enthusiastic about this.

I get the impression the wife is not even fully aware of what's happening and where you intend to go with this. Do you want to be part of causing stress in a marriage, and possibly the breakup of a marriage? What legacy do you want to leave behind when you are gone? The legacy of someone who pushed and pushed for what she wanted despite it causing pain in someone else's marriage, and to someone else's children? Those children will be living with the consequences of whatever you and their father bring into their lives for the next 60 or more years. If you bring pain into their lives, they will remember you, with distaste in their mouths, for those 60or more years.

How do you want your children to view you? How will they feel, as adults, if this becomes a situation of harming your own marriage or someone else's, or those children, or your own children, to satisfy your sexual attraction to this man?

Think very carefully about which wolf you want to feed. I think you are unwise to be pushing anyone, and I hope my impression about his wife not really knowing is wrong. If she doesn't, however, as a matter of honor, you need to be sure she's really fully aware.



Quote:
he isnt rocking the boat at home.
Why should he? This is his marriage, his wife, his children, his life. He has good reason to be cautious.


Quote:
So, is three months long enough? For me to tell both of these guys to just man up and make this happen?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TRTkCHE1sS4


Quote:
I feel very selfish even asking for that. I feel I have been very loving and supportive, have spent countless hours helping everyone else feel good, making sure that other people feel good and safe.
But have you done it with the intention of pushing everyone along to giving you what you want?

Quote:
But bottom line is, seeing my BF for a couple of hours once or twice a week is just not cutting it for me.
Having an open marriage she never signed up for may not cut it for her.

Quote:
I feel like he can always ask, but make sure she knows its not an ultimatum, that we are just exploring the options available to us.
What happens if your very understanding reassurance to her that it's not an ultimatum is met with her solid, "No?"
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