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  #1  
Old 04-06-2013, 03:07 AM
WaxyZissou WaxyZissou is offline
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Default Married and poly, privacy issues

Hello, I'm fairly new to being poly and am in need of some good advice. I did check the forums for awhile, and haven't found a question quite like mine.

I am a 34 year old male, married to a 27 year old woman. My wife and I have been together for 7 years, married for 2. We recently made the jump to being poly a year ago. Up until the last couple weeks, we have both felt that being poly has been great to us, and we have been successful at tackling any problems or insecurities that have arose. Recently though, we have reached an impasse, and our differing opinions here are becoming heated, and taking away from the great thing we have going, both between the two of us and others.

Recently I met a woman, at a bar with whom I went home and had sex. We have kept in contact and got together twice more since that first night. All is fine up to this point. However, when talking to my wife about the encounter, I told her that when the new girl and I met we kissed and danced together before leaving the bar.

This upset my wife, and she was very concerned that someone we knew might have saw me, and being married I would have some explaining to do.

All of our close friends, basically the open minded ones, are aware of, and sometimes involved in, our sex life. We haven't shared with certain friends, and have not told family. My wife especially isn't interested in sharing this aspect of our life with her family or coworkers, and is afraid a slutty rumor about her could affect her job as a catholic school teacher.

I understand her concerns, and her desire to be private about her love life. I myself am indifferent to anyone knowing or not knowing, and am more prepared to stand by any choices I've made, should anyone question them.

We started our adventure into being poly with my wife meeting a male at her summer restaurant job, and having a 2 month romance with him. I didn't realize they did not have any PDA throughout their relationship. Since then we have both slept with several people, sometimes together, sometimes on our own, but they have all been planned, or happened at the end of a night of partying, where the results have been private.

When we decided to try polyamory out, we both agreed that we were seeking more than just sex, and that spending time with someone for more than just a hook up was okay. We both still feel that way, except I had assumed I had the freedom to meet someone publicly, and my wife had assumed we could both do that while appearing monogamous to those we don't want to discuss our private life with.

I feel like this puts a stranglehold on any opportunity I would have to meet someone and develop a relationship with them. And I feel my wife doesn't have the same concerns, as she has a pretty good group of friends, males and females, who are interested in hooking up for sex, sharing partners, and occasionally planning a group sex evening. I have been a part of some of these occasions, but as they are my wife's friends and coworkers, I'm kind of left waiting to be included in something.

I shared a mouthful, and tried to cut out anything irrelevant to my question. Basically I feel like I can't push my wife to give up her privacy, and yet 'behind closed doors' wasn't what I wanted out of being poly. My compromise was to not PDA in public, with the exception of nightclubs, and bars which is where we go to meet people. This isn't enough for her, but she said she may be okay with it in time.

This leaves me feeling like, if now, when the situation has come up, isn't a good time to stand by your personal choices, when is? I am afraid we'll be in the same place 6 months or 2 years from now.

Please help. I'm stuck between supporting the woman I love, and standing up for what I feel is fair to me. I should have titled this thread: The pitfalls of making assumptions.

Thanks so much for reading and sharing your advice.
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Old 04-06-2013, 03:17 AM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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So it sounds like you arrived at a reasonable "good enough for now" agreement...

Quote:
I feel like I can't push my wife to give up her privacy, and yet 'behind closed doors' wasn't what I wanted out of being poly. My compromise was to not PDA in public, with the exception of nightclubs, and bars which is where we go to meet people. This isn't enough for her, but she said she may be okay with it in time.
She has given a "soft limit" that could change in time.

But you have this fear:
Quote:
I am afraid we'll be in the same place 6 months or 2 years from now.
Maybe. Could be for the duration of this job. Maybe her job will change or where you live will.

Basically you compromised on the
  • Who (you guys)
  • What (PDA in public with non-spouse partners)
  • Where (limit it to clubs)
  • Why (risk to her job)

Just didn't cover the WHEN or HOW.

So ask her -- "Hey, can we revisit this topic in ____ weeks? Or if I am not doing well holding to the agreement? We could talk again, right? I am afraid we'll be in the same place 6 months or 2 years from now. So I need talks to reassure."

Galagirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 04-06-2013 at 04:03 AM.
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  #3  
Old 04-06-2013, 03:23 AM
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Mohegan Mohegan is offline
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Personally, I think if it is going to effect her job, and it sounds like it will, you owe your wife the respect of not screwing that up for her. I understand the need/desire to open and stand by your beliefs. But I also understand that sometimes discretion is a better option.

I am completely open to everyone but my parents. Karma is open as well. When we started working together, and realized our being out at work could put our jobs in danger, we toned it down. It was hard and we slipped a few times but for the most part they just knew that he had a lot of female friends he hung out with.

This may sound harsh, but is your social circle so small or your town so big that you can't explore your relationships elsewhere without endangering your wife's job? Would she be okay with you doing this the next town over? We don't have these worries as my parents are in another state, so we're pretty free with what we can do. But even at that, I still don't understand why you can't go somewhere that you aren't going to run in to someone.
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Old 04-06-2013, 03:46 AM
WaxyZissou WaxyZissou is offline
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Thanks both of you for the advice.

GalaGirl, sorry if I was unclear, we didn't agree to the compromise of clubs/bars. But you're right about the soft limit. Revisiting a compromise in 3 months is the least I can do.

Mohegan, my social circle are all married with kids. I'm 34, we live in the suburbs in Ontario. This isn't exactly San Francisco. Toronto is a short trip, and there is a great community there, but none of my friends are going to follow me on a polyamorous adventure to meet people, my wife included. I know I could seek personals online, I have just preferred the face to face approach.

I know I have to support my partner, I just don't like how it works out for me right now.
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Old 04-06-2013, 04:08 AM
WaxyZissou WaxyZissou is offline
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Thanks both of you for your replies.

GalaGirl, sorry if I was unclear. We didn't agree to the compromise of clubs/bars. I came up with it, she rejected it. But you're right about the soft limit, revisiting a compromise again in 3 months is something I should do.

Mohegan, my social circle are all married with kids. I live in the suburbs in Ontario, this isn't exactly San Francisco. Toronto is a short trip, and there's a great community there, but no one is going to accompany me on a polyamorous adventure to meet people, my wife included. I know I have to support my life partner, and I am doing it her way thus far. This just makes it difficult on my end, and I feel I'm lacking support from her, as she already has other partners.

I guess I know it has to be this way, but I don't like it.
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Old 04-06-2013, 04:12 AM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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Ah. Thanks for the clarify.

So meet them but don't kiss them in public. Can you live with that?

Galagirl
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  #7  
Old 04-06-2013, 04:40 AM
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SchrodingersCat SchrodingersCat is offline
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Let's rephrase the question.

How would you feel if your wife got fired because her boss's daughter saw you kissing some lady in public? That this would be discrimination and illegal is irrelevant; it's the Catholic church we're talking about. They're in the business of inventing excuses to control people's behaviour.

I'm with you on not wanting to be in the closet or hide who I really am... but I also understand that Life doesn't always allow us to express ourselves the way we want to.

Also, what makes your personal choices trump hers? You're talking about your comfort level. She's talking about her job. IMHO, making a living trumps "what I wanted out of poly."
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Old 04-06-2013, 04:49 AM
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Marcus Marcus is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WaxyZissou View Post
I know I have to support my life partner, and I am doing it her way thus far. This just makes it difficult on my end, and I feel I'm lacking support from her, as she already has other partners.

I guess I know it has to be this way, but I don't like it.
You don't sound really thrilled to be making the sacrifices you are making. In fact, it sounds like you're on a really short leash and are running out of air as you're pulling against your owner.

In my world, a partner who gets involved with me needs to understand that I am not ashamed of my relationship choices; I am actually quite proud. I am "out" to anyone who has a care to listen and I won't play games running away from closed minded twats who would hurt me because they don't like my *personal* choices. If my work proves that they are so petty and backwards as to make trouble for me should they find out ... I'll get another job. Now I gather that your relationship didn't start with any assumptions other than socially acceptable monogamy, but that's no reason you can't change the game now.

We'll all be dead in no time, spending time hiding from the input a backwoods idiot (closed minded family, friends, employers) might have about my choices seems like a huge waste of time.

Personally I hope you stand up for yourself, take some responsibility for your life, and stop letting titles like "life partner" influence what is otherwise your fully functional brain.

Good luck!
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  #9  
Old 04-06-2013, 05:21 AM
turtleHeart turtleHeart is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WaxyZissou View Post
no one is going to accompany me on a polyamorous adventure to meet people, my wife included.
Why not? It sounds like so far you've gone along with how your wife wants things, with her beginning the opening up process, and now she's at a point where she's satisfied with how things are for herself, but things aren't yet working so well for you.

Does she want to make her current job into a career, or does she plan on moving on to something else soon in which it wouldn't seem so risky for you to meet people in a way that works for you?
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  #10  
Old 04-06-2013, 11:14 PM
Dirtclustit Dirtclustit is offline
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Default Being out

It's the one subject that I believe should be an "everybody on the same page" decision, that everyone must agree and anyone involved has the right to veto the decision of being out for any reason whatsoever.

Yes, I know it sucks, but the world and societies of human beings are a very ugly, violent, blind with denial in regards to what is considered acceptable. It is a disease that creeps into everything, and whether it's actual polyamory or any other flavor of non-monogamy, even when they day finally arrives that all civil rights are protected with equity and zero discrimination (which we currently appear quite a long way from) when or if those days come there will still be the hidden anger, there will still be all of the passive aggressive acts from those who keep their animosity cloaked.

We live in a world that would probably issue a nobel in social psychology for pointing out that all of the possible damage to children due to being raised in any alternative family system, all of the negative effect, or 100% of the damage is not due to the alternative way of life but due directly to the human posed affliction and persecution of innocent people by a confused society.

So I strongly believe that the view of any involved party on being out, should always be respected. But that is just me and won't work for everyone.

In regards to your question of
Quote:
Originally Posted by WaxyZissou
This leaves me feeling like, if now, when the situation has come up, isn't a good time to stand by your personal choices, when is?
Only you and those involved with you will know for sure what style of compromise best suits your relationships, but in general, it seems like the people have much better success with being hyper-respectful, and then humble when asking for any ground on anything that is important to you in regards to boundaries of your relationships. Many people will disagree with that statement, however I have found that showing hyper-respect often works like an eraser and sometimes magically erases all problems.

This phenomena occurs because when you are talking about polyamory, their tends to be many many strong emotions involved that can be extremely confusing, which often leads to the real root of problems being assigned to the wrong bush or tree, and it really sucks when you eradicate plants or chop down trees that were never the problem.

I don't know how to explain it other than it works similar to the way that honesty works. The same way that sex with others isn't a problem when all involved are explicitly honest and fully disclose their intentions, but the same behavior is a problem when lies, deception, or even being misleading occurs, well it's damn near the same thing with having to compromise. You may find yourself absolutely astonished and amazed at how powerful acts of hyper-respect can be, to the point that it never ceases to amaze me how often the need to compromise disappears, as the point of contention is suddenly no longer a problem.

I am completely in the dark though, as to why or how such an anomaly works though

Last edited by Dirtclustit; 04-06-2013 at 11:27 PM.
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