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Old 05-07-2011, 11:12 PM
charmcityalum charmcityalum is offline
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Hello everyone!

A little background info first:

My wife and I have been together for 10 years and married for 7 and have a soon to be 3 yr old daughter. About 3 years ago we talked and decided we wanted to try swinging. We have had a few experiences with a couple of different couples but always had problems with finding a good match with another couple (wifey liking the husband as much as I liked the wife or vice versa). About three months ago we decided that we wanted to open up the relationship so that I could find a female that connected with me and she could do the same without looking for this connection in the same couple.

One of the couples me and my wife had had experiences with were poly. The day after my wife and I decided to try being open she began a relationship with the husband. They had 2 overnight dates and then I started having issues. My wife told me she had developed feelings for this man. She says it's not love but more of a friendship feeling.

Maybe I was naive but during all of our communication about swinging or poly we had always agreed that there should be no feelings and the second someone was uncomfortable with something that should be the end of it. After she revealed to me that she had feelings for this man I told her that I wanted to end the "openess" part of our relationship and she refused. I felt that being a swinger or being open was now a bigger priority to her then our relationship and have had major issues because of it.

My wife and I are currently working hard to fix or resolve our issues. She says that she doesn't want to live a vanilla lifestyle anymore and that when I told her that I wanted to end our "openess" that she couldn't commit to being monogamous forever. We aren't currently dating anyone but she still has communication with the husband and another husband and wife that we have swung with in the past about once a week. We have read "Opening Up" and are currently doing the excercises in the book as well as trying to draw up a relationship contract.

I am posting on here because I have no one to talk to. Before I met my wife my longest relationship was 4 months. I am not very good at maintaining relationships and am better at what my wife calls "sport fucking".

I have two problems I am looking for help with.

1. I am having issues dealing with why my wife has feelings for another man and why when I said "I'm not comfortable with this anymore, end it" she didn't look at me and say "ok baby, you and our family is whats important to me and if this is making you upset I will end it". I am not ready to (nor do I know if I ever will be) tell my wife that she can just go have a relationship with another man and just let whatever happens happen. I am not comfortable with the possibility of my wife telling me in 6 months that she is in love with another man (and yes I realize that this is possible even without a poly relationship but think that allowing her to have a emotional and sexual relationship with another man probably increases this possibility).

2. I haven't been able to meet someone who is willing to be a secondary relationship in a poly. My wife and I have a lot riding on the fact that I don't have a secondary relationship therefore don't understand the dynamic. Maybe having a "girlfriend" will give me some insight into their relationship, maybe not, but I don't even know how to find someone. I have told my wife that basicly we are not in a poly relationship but a mono monogamous. So if anyone out there has some guidence for me in finding like minded women I would greatly appreciate it.

Thanks in advance for all of your responses.
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Old 05-08-2011, 02:15 AM
Ariakas Ariakas is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charmcityalum View Post
Hello everyone!

1. I am having issues dealing with why my wife has feelings for another man and why when I said "I'm not comfortable with this anymore, end it" she didn't look at me and say "ok baby, you and our family is whats important to me and if this is making you upset I will end it". I am not ready to (nor do I know if I ever will be) tell my wife that she can just go have a relationship with another man and just let whatever happens happen. I am not comfortable with the possibility of my wife telling me in 6 months that she is in love with another man (and yes I realize that this is possible even without a poly relationship but think that allowing her to have a emotional and sexual relationship with another man probably increases this possibility).
Default answer is going to be read everything you can. Opening up covers it, franklins site covers it, you can read lots of experiences on here, and even most swinging sites have sections to cover poly.

Here is the unfortunate reality. Until it's in your face and in your life, you can have all those tools in place but it will still be a kick in the teeth. All you can do is work through those feelings.. And expect waves of feelings. Sometimes you will think you nailed it, and it will not feel good anymore.

My biggest tips is to never focus on the nagative potential. Don't focus on what possibly might be. Focus on what she says and the relationship you have. It's hard to do, but always try to right yourself.

It is easier said than done, I still have my moments... But you have to remember why she is in the relationship with you and the relationship yu have built is built on.. "insert wise gilding block here"

Quote:
2. I haven't been able to meet someone who is willing to be a secondary relationship in a poly. My wife and I have a lot riding on the fact that I don't have a secondary relationship therefore don't understand the dynamic. Maybe having a "girlfriend" will give me some insight into their relationship, maybe not, but I don't even know how to find someone. I have told my wife that basicly we are not in a poly relationship but a mono monogamous. So if anyone out there has some guidence for me in finding like minded women I would greatly appreciate it.

Thanks in advance for all of your responses.
A lot of people are very comfortable in the 1 for 1 mindset. She has one you have one. It's an interesting place to start for balance. It might help you, but I woudnt rely on it. What happens when it breaks, you are creating a dependent pattern which might hurt long term

How to find like minded women. Several schools of thought. The two prevailing ones outside of online

1 start socializing based on your hobbies. You like video games, go to a convention or something. Meeting people in an area you are both happy is a good way to break the ice.
2 go to a poly group. Most localities have something. Might want to expand your circle depending on where you live. Find poly women for poly relationships.

Best of luck
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Old 05-09-2011, 12:16 AM
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Poly is quite different than open or swinging. If you do some research on poly you will see it is entirely possible that your wife not just give up on the feelings she has. Love can be expansive to many people, for some, especially when sex is invovled. Some just naturally grow into more love as a result of sex. I cannot be a swinger anymore for that reason.

Finding a girlfriend will not make you understand or keep you at the same pace as your wife I don't think. Its not a competition and its not going to work out the same each time you meet someone new. Your experience will be quite different than hers and it will be different again when and if you meet someone again.

So the deal you had didn't work. Well you aren't the first to come on here with the similar deal of not falling in love while swinging and if that comes up then ending it would be the result. Ya, not so easy for lots of people. So now what?

My question is, why put a cap on it? Go with it, love and life are fluid, so can this be. You will likely have some feelings to deal with, but they will help you grow as an individual and grow as a couple if you decide that.

Do some reading here. Ask your partner to read here. Do some tag searches for whatever interests you. I suggest a tag search for "lessons" and "foundations" for those new to this. There is a lot out there if you start looking.
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Old 05-09-2011, 01:27 PM
GroundedSpirit GroundedSpirit is offline
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Hello CarmCity,

Couple questions...........

Quote:
Originally Posted by charmcityalum View Post

I have two problems I am looking for help with.

1. ...............
I am not ready to (nor do I know if I ever will be) tell my wife that she can just go have a relationship with another man and just let whatever happens happen. I am not comfortable with the possibility of my wife telling me in 6 months that she is in love with another man (and yes I realize that this is possible even without a poly relationship but think that allowing her to have a emotional and sexual relationship with another man probably increases this possibility).
Ok........what exactly are you "uncomfortable" with ?
Do you believe that there's something inherently 'wrong' with the fact she might care (love) about another person ?

What does this change about what YOU TWO feel about each other ? (unless of course your reaction/actions force something to change)


Quote:
Originally Posted by charmcityalum View Post
2. I haven't been able to meet someone who is willing to be a secondary relationship in a poly. My wife and I have a lot riding on the fact that I don't have a secondary relationship therefore don't understand the dynamic.
I agree that experiencing having our own secondary partner does shed a lot of light on the dynamic. Until that can happen you need to trust what's she's trying to explain to you. And in the meantime educate yourself from as many directions as possible via books, places like this, other polys etc.

There's potential for envy here - i.e. someone has something nice that we don't have. How do you USUALLY deal with envy ? Lots of people have or are in situations we'd like, but we carry on without crisis or drama.

Fact is that women have a far easier time making secondary connections. It's nothing to do with you necessarily, it's just the nature of things. Taking it personally only rubs salt in a wound. Pointless. Don't do it. If it eats at you that bad I suppose you could go for a gender change <<grin>>

Care to share more ?

GS
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Old 05-09-2011, 04:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charmcityalum View Post

1. I am having issues dealing with why my wife has feelings for another man and why when I said "I'm not comfortable with this anymore, end it" she didn't look at me and say "ok baby, you and our family is whats important to me and if this is making you upset I will end it". I am not ready to (nor do I know if I ever will be) tell my wife that she can just go have a relationship with another man and just let whatever happens happen. I am not comfortable with the possibility of my wife telling me in 6 months that she is in love with another man (and yes I realize that this is possible even without a poly relationship but think that allowing her to have a emotional and sexual relationship with another man probably increases this possibility).
In theory it might seem easy to end a second relationship if feelings start to develop but by the very nature of loving someone it's likely much more difficult to do in practice if/when it comes up. I would encourage you while you're both currently not involved with anyone else to explore the reasons why you are uncomfortable with her forming bonds with someone else. Poly is a lot of work (both internally and externally with everyone involved). Take this time to dig into yourself and talk about it with your partner.

It also seems to me that your wife isn't able to easily have NSA sex. You can and you're comfortable in that realm. Different people have different needs and expectations when it comes to relationships. What have her past relationship patterns looked like? More stuff to talk about.

Quote:
2. I haven't been able to meet someone who is willing to be a secondary relationship in a poly. My wife and I have a lot riding on the fact that I don't have a secondary relationship therefore don't understand the dynamic. Maybe having a "girlfriend" will give me some insight into their relationship, maybe not, but I don't even know how to find someone. I have told my wife that basicly we are not in a poly relationship but a mono monogamous. So if anyone out there has some guidence for me in finding like minded women I would greatly appreciate it.

Thanks in advance for all of your responses.
Secondary relationships rarely happen at the same time. It's true that you might have a better understanding of how you can genuinely care for more than one person at a time after it has become a part of your lived experience but you also can't force that into your life. You meet people you connect with when you meet them. All you can do is to leave yourself open to letting that connection happen (although I think you should still do a lot of talking before you take that step.)
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Old 05-09-2011, 04:49 PM
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For me poly is a much better way than swinging would be, because it allows for me to be the emotional creature that I am, and not just physical. If I'm going to have sex with no emotional involvement then I may as well just masturbate.

Our venture into poly has been difficult for my husband, and I understand where you are coming from, as he has struggled with much of the same feelings as you are. It is such a challenge to the ego! And it has been really difficult for him to put himself out there, in hopes of finding another girl to add to our circle. He's not even sure he wants that added dimension.

We're trying to just live in the moment, without getting too caught up in where this is going to end. We both want to stay together, ultimately, and I think our love for each other and our concern for one another's welfare will get us through anything that comes our way.

One of the coolest things I've seen happen in poly is the relationships that can develop between the metamours. My bf and husband (Butch Cassidy and Sundance ) have a friendship that is deeper than two straight males could probably ever know, both of them being loved by me and sharing life in a very special way. Male pride gets in the way a lot of the time. I am proud of them for working to overcome it -- they are incredible guys!

But I think you are smart to think things through, to question, and to come here to do some research on the challenges and issues relating to polyamory. It is definitely not easy. NOT for wimps! But the fact that you've even come here shows that you aren't the wimpy type, anyway. Good luck!
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Old 05-10-2011, 02:19 PM
charmcityalum charmcityalum is offline
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Thank you to all of you for your replies....I found a lot of the advice useful. I don't know how to quote things yet so please bare with me.

-----------------------------------------------------------------

Couple questions...........



Ok........what exactly are you "uncomfortable" with ?
Do you believe that there's something inherently 'wrong' with the fact she might care (love) about another person ?

What does this change about what YOU TWO feel about each other ? (unless of course your reaction/actions force something to change)

---------------------------------------------------------------------

My wife and I are just like any married couple. We laugh and argue, we pay bills, we raise our child, in other words we go through the stresses of life together. When my wife goes out on "dates" with another man it's all cherries and roses. I worry that eventually that relationship would be more appealing because it doesn't face the stresses ours does. I don't want to be spending time with my wife worrying that she would rather be out on a date.

I also am not comfortable with my wife taking time away from our life together and devoting that time to another relationship.

I worry that my wife may one day walk in the door and say she is maddly in love with another man and she wants to go be with that man.

This may sound shallow but I'm having problems seeing what the payoff is in all of this. What is the reward that makes these risks worth it. When we decided to swing it was to enhance our relationship. The payoff was that it was hot to think and talk about each other having sex with someone else and we had incredibly hot sex because of it. From where I'm standing my wife falling in love with someone else does nothing for our relationship.

In my mind when I agreed to let my wife have a "boyfriend" the payoff was I could have a "girlfriend" which is why I say we have a lot riding on me finding a secondary. Now here we are a couple of months later, I don't have a secondary so I have no understanding of whats going on, and my wife and I had the worst month we have had since we met each other.

How does our relationship benefit from this?
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Old 05-10-2011, 02:54 PM
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Well, having a girlfriend won't even up the score. It could keep the two of you from being more connected.

There is a lot to be gained from having another person in your life; your wife's partner or yours. I suggest you read the blogs and find out some of how it works... mine for starters.

For me it has meant a complete change in our lives and the structure that once existed, but the independence we have all gained, the support I have, the surrounding of chosen family, the extra hands to raise my child, the amount of sex and closeness, the humour, the expansion of many ideas and talks about those ideas and the connection to others has been incredible and vitally life changing for me. The sense of belonging and love is overwhelming.

It's not just about them, its about all of you. The growing pains into that can be hard, but it does become normalized with time. It is nothing like monogamous relationships.... first one has to shed that notion and trust. Secondly, getting to know ones metamour is a big key component to success in poly I think.
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Old 05-10-2011, 03:31 PM
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Originally Posted by charmcityalum View Post
In my mind when I agreed to let my wife have a "boyfriend" the payoff was I could have a "girlfriend" which is why I say we have a lot riding on me finding a secondary. Now here we are a couple of months later, I don't have a secondary so I have no understanding of whats going on, and my wife and I had the worst month we have had since we met each other.

How does our relationship benefit from this?
Ideally with all the new love, everyone feels it. ... on paper. You feel compersion for her, she feels love for you, she feels love for him and everyone is chipper.

The problem is it rarely works out that way in the beginning. Fact is, you will have a harder time finding anyone, especially if you are looking for the reason of filling a gap.

You aren't feeling compersion, so you are feeling the feelings connected to bad emotions..

So what can you do. Find a hobby? Fake it till ya make it? Declare a veto and end it all? There are lots of options.

Its the one area I went into poly with eyes wide open. I will always have a harder time finding someone than my wife. Fact of life.

Quote:
When my wife goes out on "dates" with another man it's all cherries and roses. I worry that eventually that relationship would be more appealing because it doesn't face the stresses ours does.
In the NRE/infatuation stage it will be like this. Its how the relationship survives the aftermath of that. Eventually it becomes a "real" relationship, and cherries and roses get tossed aside.
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Old 05-10-2011, 04:11 PM
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One payoff is a happier wife. The good feelings she gets from being out will overflow into your relationship too. Another benefit is having some time to yourself to do whatever it is you feel like doing. When my husband is out and the kids have gone to bed that's my me time. I don't have to worry about what anyone else wants to do. A lot of the time it's not terribly exciting on the surface, but I really value that time in my house that I have to myself.

The thing is that even if she follows the boundaries down to the letter there's nothing stopping her on deciding that she doesn't want to be with you anymore and picking up and leaving one day. If she's not saying that's what she wants and she is telling you that she still wants to be with you take it at face value. If everything is out in the open and you're communicating every step of the way chances are that if a disconnect between the two of you starts that you will be able to nip it in the bud.

If you're worried about this relationship taking time away from the life that she has with you why not have something else to look forward to while she is out with him? It doesn't have to be another relationship just something that you enjoy that she doesn't have any interest in.
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