Polyamory.com Forum  

Go Back   Polyamory.com Forum > Polyamory > Poly Relationships Corner

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 01-22-2011, 12:58 AM
parcimonieux parcimonieux is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 5
Default Advice: her mono boyfriend

TL;DR My wife and I are in a deep and intense relationship with a poly girl who is in a relationship with a mono guy. He mostly approves of my wife but does not approve of me. The three of us agree that this is very undesirable, maybe unsustainable. We have never met him, and he is coming over for dinner tomorrow. Don't know what to do.

I'm sure this isn't new territory for the forum, but I'm finding my stress level is going through the roof today, and I'm hoping maybe this will help.

Us (A & B): Previously mono couple, married for 8 years. We both have a long history of swinging but have been mono for most of our time together, though not for any particular reason. Almost on a whim, we opened up our relationship late last year and have found that is suits us amazingly well. My wife is truly bisexual (by which I mean she has had real relationships with both men and women, not just sex). We are neither jealous nor possessive and we trust each other completely.

Her (C): An incredible woman that we've both had a crush on for a long time. She is also truly bi and has been in long-term poly relationships as long as we have known her. Her marriage to a semi-poly guy broke up about 2 years ago and she was just dating around for a while until about 5 months ago when she started a mostly-mono relationship with:

Him (D): From all reports, an incredible guy with an incredible family and a lot in common with us. He was aware of her poly-ness when they got together, but they have lived mono except for some minor swinging/playing. AFAIK, he has never been in a poly relationship. We have never met him.

C suddenly burst into our lives after a fun and silly night with my wife and myself. There were boundaries due to D, and we respected them. It was instantly obvious that this was not just a fling; we became immediately attached. D is totally OK with C playing with my wife, but it eventually became clear that he is not OK with me (not particularly unusual, I think). This was certainly disappointing, but there is still plenty to do without breaking rules. Fast-forward a month and now the relationship between A/B/C has only grown more intense and more serious. Sex is secondary, we care deeply for C.

I have discussed it a lot with C, and we both agree that the current relationship with unnatural boundaries is not desirable, and possibly not sustainable.

We are finally going to meet D tomorrow when he comes to our house for dinner. I never expected to be so nervous, but I feel like I am going to lose my mind. I feel almost desperate to somehow gain his approval and I don't even know the guy. Will he decide he is OK with me/us? Will he want to participate? Will there be chemistry between he and my wife that might help? Of course, I know you can't answer these specific things but the questions are tearing at me.

Has anyone been in a situation like this? I want to make him feel comfortable, and understand that I am not a threat like I'm sure he thinks I am.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 01-22-2011, 01:15 AM
nycindie's Avatar
nycindie nycindie is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: The Big Apple
Posts: 7,064
Default

Hi! I don't have experience with what you're dealing with, but it occurs to me that you are focusing on a specific outcome (D. liking you and approving of the situation). I think you need to let go of that a bit.

Why you are inviting them over? Is it just to impress him? Having that as a goal will almost surely fall flat. Here are some ideas to keep in mind, which may help to calm you: To welcome this man, someone your girlfriend is fond of, into your home. To share with him (meaning let him see and observe) the affection you feel for her. To get to know him, and let him get to know you and your wife. To build a community. To break down barriers. Keep It Simple, Sweetie!

Just try not to think of it as your "chance to make him like you." You have no control over that, nor his resistance to the situation. He will either be on board, or he won't, and you just need to worry about being yourself, not convincing him of anything. Think of it as an opportunity to expand your circle of friends and declare your love for your wife and feelings for your girlfriend with someone new present. Beforehand, just remind yourself of all the stuff you are confident about in your life (accomplishments, abilities, etc.), notice how your body feels when you think of those things, and relax into who you are when you feel that way. You'll be fine as long as impressing him is not the goal.



PS - what does "TL;DR" mean?? I've seen it written here before and am puzzled.
__________________
The world opens up... when you do.

Oh, oh, can't you see? Love is the drug for me. ~Bryan Ferry
"Love is that condition in which another person's happiness is essential to your own." ~Robert Heinlein

Last edited by nycindie; 01-22-2011 at 01:17 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 01-22-2011, 01:37 AM
parcimonieux parcimonieux is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 5
Default

Too Long; Don't Read

Wow. You are absolutely right at every level. Thankfully no, we are not having him over just to try and impress him; it's just to get to know each other and *hopefully* break down barriers in the process. I like to think that I don't harbor any unrealistic expectations about the meeting, and I know we cannot make him do anything.

Despite recognizing that, my fear and tension is definitely coming from focusing on the outcome, even though I know I can't control it. It's irrational but I'm finding it hard not to think that way since it feels like a negative outcome might take her away from us. Which, in reality, it almost certainly wouldn't anyway.

Not to get all gushy, but that was an incredibly helpful and insightful response, I'm somewhat floored.

Thank you.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 01-22-2011, 05:35 AM
nycindie's Avatar
nycindie nycindie is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: The Big Apple
Posts: 7,064
Default

You're welcome. Glad to be of help. Just a little bit more...

Quote:
Originally Posted by parcimonieux View Post
no, we are not having him over just to try and impress him
I didn't mean to imply that that was the only reason you invited him; but you did say in your first post that you were "almost desperate" for his approval, so it's more like an undercurrent running below the surface.

Quote:
Despite recognizing that, my fear and tension is definitely coming from focusing on the outcome, even though I know I can't control it. It's irrational but I'm finding it hard not to think that way since it feels like a negative outcome might take her away from us. Which, in reality, it almost certainly wouldn't anyway.
That's okay, acknowledge those thoughts but don't feed them, and remember where to place your attention. Break the evening down into moments. Just concern yourself with first things first, each step of the way, like: Make the space comfortable; Plan the menu; The cooking (will your guests help out in the kitchen, which can often be fun, or be entertained while the cooking's done?). Break the ice, music, drinks, whatever. The table, the food, the conversation, the connections to people you love - forget about the end of the night and the next day, just be present in each moment and remember it's all about the love and affection that connect you all.
__________________
The world opens up... when you do.

Oh, oh, can't you see? Love is the drug for me. ~Bryan Ferry
"Love is that condition in which another person's happiness is essential to your own." ~Robert Heinlein
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 01-22-2011, 07:44 PM
redpepper's Avatar
redpepper redpepper is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Canada
Posts: 7,633
Default

Remember that this guy is probably shitting his pants about now! Geesh, he is in a far worse place than you... empathize with that. If you are feeling stressed, no doubt he is too and the two of you can relate.

Maybe make a joke about it when he comes in the door. There is nothing like being entirely honest and saying to him that you have been really freaked out because you want him to like you because this woman and what you are developing with her is important to you. You care about her and who is important to her and REALLY want to make a good impression because he means something to her... I would be surprised if he didn't feel safe enough to be just as honest back with you. Being open and vulnerable creates space for others to be so.

I don't know if it is such a good idea to be keen on your wife developing an interest in him. I think its disrespectful to even think about it in terms of a solution. The man claims he is mono, I would leave him alone on that one until he suggests otherwise.

I would be damned sure, if I were her, not to flirt or think of him in a sexual/relationship way at all. I think I would be a good host and make him feel welcomed and comfortable. That's it. The guy has enough on his plate trying to comprehend the lifestyle he is being forced to understand without complicating it with people coming on to him or offering him something other than a warm hand of friendship. He is your metamour, not a potential lover at this point.

I would suggest doing some reading on here about mono/poly relationships in order to get an understanding of where he might be coming from... the two are VERY different and I have found no way to merge the two without compromises that can be really difficult. I am in a live in relationship with Mono and PN, one my mono boyfriend, the other my poly husband. It is very complicated and in order to be respectful, I suggest knowing something about it. Being openly poly/swingerish can come across in a certain way to a lot of mono folk. If you really want this guy to feel comfortable; I suggest really knowing and thinking more on that.
__________________
Anyone want to be friends on Facebook?
Send me your name via PM
My blog
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 01-22-2011, 10:47 PM
nycindie's Avatar
nycindie nycindie is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: The Big Apple
Posts: 7,064
Default

Hey, Parcimonieux,
RP offered very sound advice!

Don't know if you will login and see this before your dinner tonight but I just wanted to say:

don't forget to HAVE FUN!!!
__________________
The world opens up... when you do.

Oh, oh, can't you see? Love is the drug for me. ~Bryan Ferry
"Love is that condition in which another person's happiness is essential to your own." ~Robert Heinlein
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 01-24-2011, 10:40 PM
parcimonieux parcimonieux is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 5
Default

redpepper, nycindie: thank you again, your insight was extraordinarily helpful.

The event itself was somewhat underwhelming, but still enjoyable. We liked him, he is nice and we do have things in common. We talked a lot about superficial things and drank way too much.

But, I detected an undercurrent of resentment or anger, which I suppose is not surprising (I don't know him though, this might be normal) and he made one comment in particular that I thought was disrespectful to our lover. I got pretty angry but I bit my lip and we all laughed nervously and blew it off. Later, I found out he apparently felt the situation was forced, which is unfortunate. We were all nervous, but I didn't feel like anyone was insincere.

We did not talk about our situation at all except for one very brief moment, gently initiated by me, during which he was vocal that he does not think he is poly, then we were interrupted. I did not press the issue.

After an evening out, he departed a little early and our girlfriend stayed the night at our house. This did not go over terribly well when he found out, though she did remind him that *he* had chosen to leave, blowing off their previous plans for that night. This was not different than most any other night, but in hindsight maybe it wasn't entirely wise, given the timing.

I am committed to honesty and caring, even with him, but the devil on my shoulder tends to win in these situations when the alternative is the three of us losing time together.

The next day, he retreated a bit more and told our common partner that we were nice but just because we are friends with her does not necessarily mean we are all going to be tight (fair enough). He also has no interest in a relationship with us (this is fine, there was little or no chemistry) and I got the distinct vibe that we should just leave him alone for now. We are concerned that his method of dealing with this is going to be pretending that it's not there. I've been told to give him time, but how much time? Time for what? One positive note, he did say that he wouldn't mind us getting together again, though "not weekly or anything". Better than nothing?

So as of now, things aren't really any different than they were before.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 01-25-2011, 02:04 AM
nycindie's Avatar
nycindie nycindie is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: The Big Apple
Posts: 7,064
Default

Well, at least you all met and everything was out in the open, including the discomfort. I think you can't really do anything to help him deal with this; your GF has to take care of her relationship with him. If he wants to set up rules or boundaries that limit her involvement with you, then it would seem to me that your girlfriend needs to discuss it with you and your wife, and you all need to make some choices about what you can live with, what you and she wants. I'm not experienced in poly, just starting out on this path myself, but I think that even if you bend over backwards to try and make him happy and comfortable, you can't control how it will go -- and it's his stuff to process, really. And she will decide if he's someone she wants to keep in her life. I would just be yourselves -- don't walk on eggshells around him, be as affectionate and caring toward your GF as you want to be, and let her worry about him.
__________________
The world opens up... when you do.

Oh, oh, can't you see? Love is the drug for me. ~Bryan Ferry
"Love is that condition in which another person's happiness is essential to your own." ~Robert Heinlein
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 01-25-2011, 05:13 AM
redpepper's Avatar
redpepper redpepper is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Canada
Posts: 7,633
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
Well, at least you all met and everything was out in the open, including the discomfort. I think you can't really do anything to help him deal with this; your GF has to take care of her relationship with him. If he wants to set up rules or boundaries that limit her involvement with you, then it would seem to me that your girlfriend needs to discuss it with you and your wife, and you all need to make some choices about what you can live with, what you and she wants. I'm not experienced in poly, just starting out on this path myself, but I think that even if you bend over backwards to try and make him happy and comfortable, you can't control how it will go -- and it's his stuff to process, really. And she will decide if he's someone she wants to keep in her life. I would just be yourselves -- don't walk on eggshells around him, be as affectionate and caring toward your GF as you want to be, and let her worry about him.
agreeing entirely... especially the bold points.
__________________
Anyone want to be friends on Facebook?
Send me your name via PM
My blog
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 01-25-2011, 05:23 AM
nycindie's Avatar
nycindie nycindie is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: The Big Apple
Posts: 7,064
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by redpepper View Post
agreeing entirely... especially the bold points.
Shit, I guess I've been learning a few things here then, huh???
__________________
The world opens up... when you do.

Oh, oh, can't you see? Love is the drug for me. ~Bryan Ferry
"Love is that condition in which another person's happiness is essential to your own." ~Robert Heinlein
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 03:16 PM.