A great opportunity that I'm not sure how to approach.

ThrottleTherapy

New member
I got married a little over 3yrs ago to a woman that I have been with for about 8 yrs. We have on young child. We have a monogamous relationship. I absolutely adore my wife. We have great communication. Our sex life is pretty good. I am just more sexual in general than she is. She has been exploring her sexuality and growing through our time together. I've let her know that I'd be very interested in some sort of an open relationship. I've never been in open relationships, so I didn't know what kind of parameters to talk to my now wife. She has never had much interest in the idea and ultimately we've kept our relationship monogamous.
I'll be referring to my wife as D from here out.

The first love of my life is a wonderful woman that I had met shortly after we got out of highschool. We ended up going to college together. We we had a great 3yrs together. I, at the end, had overloaded myself between work and school. I had a breakdown one day and packed my clothes and left. This was 11yrs ago. I will refer to this person as DD from here out.

I spent a year or two discovering myself. Learning to deal with stress and where my limits are, ect... I'd been upset with myself for doing that to DD ever since. I'd lost contact with DD shortly after I walked. D has known that DD was a special person in my life that I loved and felt bad for leaving in that manner, let alone at all. I'd learned through friends that DD had gotten married 9yrs ago and moved out of country. Then I realized I'll never get a chance to apologize. It was hard to get past. I, over time, came to peace knowing that I'm not the person I was in the past. Knowing I'm more self aware.

About 3weeks ago, DD contacts me. Tells me she's back in the states, and in fact in the same state. She lets me know that she wasn't sure why I split and would like some reconciliation. She wanted to let me know that she'd loved me dearly and was still missing me. She's divorced and has two children.

I Told D that DD had contact me. D was completely cool with us reconnecting and me being able to get some weight off my chest. D was good with me going to have coffee and just do some catching up in person. Prior to me leaving to go have coffee with DD, D told me that if DD had more than friendly feelings that D probably won't want to meet DD because of D getting jealous. However if DD was just friendly then D would love to meet DD

It didn't take long for us to realize we both still carry strong feelings for each other. We both want to get to know each other again. We're both emotionally and physically attracted to each other. DD asked me if an open relationship would be possible. I informed her that D did not seem very comfortable with the open relationship idea prior, but I will see if that is an option.

As I previously stated, D and I have great communication in our relationship. I've been having a hard time finding how I'd like to bring this to her so as that she doesn't feel too threatened and/or feel like I lover her any less.

It has been just over a week since I went to meet DD in person. I feel that I need to let D know how DD and I feel sooner than later of course. Any advice or tips would be greatly appreciated.
 
Danger, danger Will Robinson.

This isn’t a powder keg - it’s Cersei Lannister rigging the Sept with wildfire.

I get your position, but turn it around for a sec and image your wife had some magical love that she carried a torch for showing up and claiming to want to play second fiddle opposite merely mortal you.

There’s so much pent up drama behind you and DD that should D agree (willingly or under pressure), the NRE that you and DD will generate will leave D feeling understandably devastated.

It wouldn’t be dipping your toe into the poly waters, it’d be a cannonballing into an ocean wearing concrete shoes. What does ‘open’ entail exactly to DD? To you? What homework have you done on this topic?

Im not saying it’s impossible, but your motives are so loaded with this proposition that it’s going to impact your marriage, no matter what.

Im going to leave it to the others who are smarter than me to say something wise - but I’d seriously recommend you think very carefully about how you approach raising this.

Also, you don’t owe DD anything. Sounds to me like you explained/apologised and that apology was accepted. So don’t go with any thoughts that you need to pursue this out of some feeling of indebtedness.

Oh and umm, hi - nice to meet you.
 
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ThrottleTherapy

New member
Danger, danger Will Robinson.

This isn’t a powder keg - it’s Cersei Lannister rigging the Sept with wildfire.

I get your position, but turn it around for a sec and image your wife had some magical love that she carried a torch for showing up and claiming to want to play second fiddle opposite merely mortal you.

There’s so much pent up drama behind you and DD that should D agree (willingly or under pressure), the NRE that you and DD will generate will leave D feeling understandably devastated.

It wouldn’t be dipping your toe into the poly waters, it’d be a cannonballing into an ocean wearing concrete shoes. What does ‘open’ entail exactly to DD? To you? What homework gave you done on this topic?

Im not saying it’s impossible, but your motives are so loaded with this proposition that it’s going to impact your marriage, no matter what.

Im going to leave it to the others who are smarter than me to say something wise - but I’d seriously recommend you think very carefully about how you approach raising this.

Also, you don’t owe DD anything. Sounds to me like you explained/apologised and that apology was accepted. So don’t go with any thoughts that you need to pursue this out of some feeling of indebtedness.

Oh and umm, hi - nice to meet you.
I've considered the idea that if D had the same scenario, how would I take it. I believe that I'm more open to multiple partners than D or DD. It wouldn't bother me, I'm more of the type that's happy if you're happy.

I am quite concerned that if D is accepting NRE will be hard on her. The only thing that may help with that is boundaries with time, and DD lives a couple hrs away.

I am not sure what exactly DD's idea of "open relationship" is. I was the one that suggested some sort of polyamory when DD had asked about an open relationship. She said she had looked into it a bit after my mentioning it. Something like this acceptable to DD. I haven't asked specifically what she'd want, I don't know if it's okay to go that far in the conversation without D being aware yet. I have read and talked to a few people a bit since DD contacted me. I've read about polyamory years prior as well.

I completely understand that this proposal will impact my marriage regardless of how D responds, that's why I posted. DD and I both understand that neither of us owe either of us anything. I want DD in my life for many reasons, nothing due to guilt. Thank you for bringing some pouts to my attention.
 

Inaniel

Well-known member
It's messy...

Not that introductions to polyamory aren't messy sometimes, and I have had my share of messy relationships.. You have consented to a monogamous arrangement, entered into a monogamous marriage, created offspring within that marriage. Now, suddenly when the old flame comes around you identify as poly? We don't get to choose when our moment of clarity comes, and it can be quite painful.

Ideally you would spend some time unwrapping all of that monogamy entanglement you have spent the better part of a decade cultivating with D, however romance with DD is creating some urgency within you. You seem anxious, so perhaps ripping off that mono band-aid as quickly as possible is more of what you are looking for? How quickly would you like to be fucking DD?

You have talked about open relationships with D and she is not interested... Bummer. My interpretation of posts like this can be summarized as: "how do I miniplate my non-consenting partner into polyamory?". We know D does not enthusiastically consent to non-monogamy, and despite D's feelings on the matter you have entered into discussions with DD about polyamory. You are moving in the poly direction with or without D's consent.. And that is what you need to tell D, that you are moving towards poly with or without her. D then can make a choice about what to do about it.

I question the ethics at play here, but then again we humans have questionable ethics even on our best days...
 

ThrottleTherapy

New member
It's messy...

Not that introductions to polyamory aren't messy sometimes, and I have had my share of messy relationships.. You have consented to a monogamous arrangement, entered into a monogamous marriage, created offspring within that marriage. Now, suddenly when the old flame comes around you identify as poly? We don't get to choose when our moment of clarity comes, and it can be quite painful.

Ideally you would spend some time unwrapping all of that monogamy entanglement you have spent the better part of a decade cultivating with D, however romance with DD is creating some urgency within you. You seem anxious, so perhaps ripping off that mono band-aid as quickly as possible is more of what you are looking for? How quickly would you like to be fucking DD?

You have talked about open relationships with D and she is not interested... Bummer. My interpretation of posts like this can be summarized as: "how do I miniplate my non-consenting partner into polyamory?". We know D does not enthusiastically consent to non-monogamy, and despite D's feelings on the matter you have entered into discussions with DD about polyamory. You are moving in the poly direction with or without D's consent.. And that is what you need to tell D, that you are moving towards poly with or without her. D then can make a choice about what to do about it.

I question the ethics at play here, but then again we humans have questionable ethics even on our best days...
I appreciate your take on this. I do feel like you seem to " get it ".

So from my perspective, I don't want to "rip the band-aid off". I would prefer to take things slower. I do feel anxiety, I'm not completely sure on specifically why. I'm in no hurry to fuck DD. However DD is less patient. I have told her that if we are to ever be more than friends in the future it is going to be slow going in to whatever that looks like, still to be decided.

I suppose part of me already was on par, but not wanting to admit it to myself, with what you're saying about addressing D in the latter part of your response.

I appreciate your time and input, thanks.
 

PinkPig

Well-known member
While preparing yourself to explore poly with DD, I would also suggest you start considering what coparenting with D through a divorce would look like, too. D has stated that she wants to continue the monogamous relationship that you currently have, not try a new, polyamorus relationship with you. If she is certain that's what she wants, and you continue to move ahead anyway, she may stay awhile in order not to break up your family (it is called poly under duress), come to resent you (or you resent her) and end the marriage anyway. Or, she may just leave you when you tell her you are going ahead without her consent.
 

ThrottleTherapy

New member
While preparing yourself to explore poly with DD, I would also suggest you start considering what coparenting with D through a divorce would look like, too. D has stated that she wants to continue the monogamous relationship that you currently have, not try a new, polyamorus relationship with you. If she is certain that's what she wants, and you continue to move ahead anyway, she may stay awhile in order not to break up your family (it is called poly under duress), come to resent you (or you resent her) and end the marriage anyway. Or, she may just leave you when you tell her you are going ahead without her consent.
This may be the source of my anxiety. I have considered some these and will have to think about the parts I haven't. Thanks
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
I think you could be up front with your wife D.

DD isn't a mind reader. DD has to ASK you if you are up for open relationship or not in order to find out.

Your answer? "My wife was not comfortable with that when I asked about it in the past. I need to check in at home."

That's fair. If I were DD? That reads like "Not likely, but will check."

So go check. Tell your wife. Maybe something like...

"I need to make you aware that DD asked me if open relationship was possible. In the past I told you I was interested in exploring open relationships. You said you were not. So we remained monogamous.

I need clarification. Has anything changed for you on that? I don't want to just jump into something with DD. Maybe past exes are on the messy people list. But just in general? I need clarification. I realized I never asked if it was a hard limit or a soft limit.

Was that a hard limit -- like no way ever?
Or a soft limit like "No for now, maybe later down over time. With new people but not exes."


You know why? Because YOU can't be a mind reader either. You actually have to ask your wife where she stands in order to find out where she stands on this issue today.

(If she already old you it was a hard limit in the past? She told you already. Don't bother asking and tell DD no.)

However DD is less patient. I have told her that if we are to ever be more than friends in the future it is going to be slow going in to whatever that looks like, still to be decided.

DD's impatience is her problem. But if she's being pushy?

When people are RUSHING me? Trying to PRESSURE me? I just say "Ok. I'll answer now. The answer is NO."

Because I don't need that. Is this what the anxiety is coming from? DD chomping at the bit or something? She's free to pursue open relationship with other people. It doesn't have to be with you. Each of you have been living your own lives doing your own things all this time. And whatever the nostalgia feelings? Who you each were back then isn't who you each are today.

Plus... what's her open relationship experience? Or is she just suggesting it in order to gain access to you?

If the problem is that you've outgrown the monogamous model you have with D? You no longer want to do monogamy? You could clean that up at home before bringing new people on board. Because if this is a crossroads place? D wants monogamy and you no longer want that and want to move on to polyamory?

Well, best to break up CLEAN. And not be dragging other people through your divorce process.

So... do your soul searching. Then communicate appropriately to D and DD whatever it is. You have to figure out where YOU stand on things today.

Galagirl
 
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ThrottleTherapy

New member
I think you could be up front with your wife D.

DD isn't a mind reader. DD has to ASK you if you are up for open relationship or not in order to find out.

Your answer? "My wife was not comfortable with that when I asked about it in the past. I need to check in at home."

That's fair. If I were DD? That reads like "Not likely, but will check."

So go check. Tell your wife. Maybe something like...

"I need to make you aware that DD asked me if open relationship was possible. In the past I told you I was interested in exploring open relationships. You said you were not. So we remained monogamous.

I need clarification. Has anything changed for you on that? I don't want to just jump into something with DD. Maybe past exes are on the messy people list. But just in general? I need clarification.

Was that a hard limit -- like no way ever?
Or a soft limit like "No for now, maybe later down over time. With new people but not exes."


You know why? Because YOU can't be a mind reader either. You actually have to ask your wife where she stands in order to find out where she stands on this issue today.

If she already old you it was a hard limit in the past? She told you already. Don't bother asking and tell DD no.



DD's impatience is her problem. But if she's being pushy?

When people are RUSHING me? Trying to PRESSURE me? I just say "Ok. I'll answer now. The answer is NO."

Because I don't need that. Is this what the anxiety is coming from? DD chomping at the bit or something? She's free to pursue open relationship with other people. It doesn't have to be with you. Each of you have been living your own lives doing your own things all this time. And whatever the nostalgia feelings? Who you each were back then isn't who you each are today.

Plus... what's her open relationship experience? Or is she just suggesting it in order to gain access to you?

If the problem is that you've outgrown the monogamous model you have with D? You no longer want to do monogamy? You could clean that up and home before bringing new people on board. Because if this is a crossroads place? D wants monogamy and you no longer want that and want to move on to polyamory?

Well, best to break up CLEAN. And not be dragging other people through your divorce process.

So... do your soul searching. Then communicate appropriately to D and DD whatever it is. You have to figure out where YOU stand on things today.

Galagirl
Thank you.
Reading this has helped bring up ways of thinking about this. This is a very fair and clean way of processing it.

I appreciate your time and input.
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
Glad it helped you.

This?

I have told her that if we are to ever be more than friends in the future it is going to be slow going in to whatever that looks like, still to be decided.

Might even slow your roll on being friends. And even slower on anything "more than friends" if that even happens.

Who IS this DD lady today? Remember nostalgia can cloud the view. Who you each used to be back then is not who you are today. For nostalgia's sake a coffee date might be ok. But more than that? Being friends again? Being something more than friends? Go slow and base it on the TODAY stuff, not the stuff of yesteryear.

About 3weeks ago, DD contacts me. Tells me she's back in the states, and in fact in the same state. She lets me know that she wasn't sure why I split and would like some reconciliation. She wanted to let me know that she'd loved me dearly and was still missing me. She's divorced and has two children.

How long ago was this divorce? It's not recent, right? Cuz rebound relationships are nrgh. And taking up with recently divorced people with kids in a rebound thing? More nrgh.

It might be me in my current stage of life wanting to be at empty nest and done with active parenting kids. But if some ex of mine blew in out of nowhere fresh out of a divorce with 2 kids hitting me up for open relationship? I'd be wondering "What is it you want really? A new mom for your kids ASAP? So you are scrolling down your ex list to fast track that?"

That's the problem with nostalgia soft feelings. People can prey on that. Not saying DD is doing that here.... but wassup with the impatience?

So go slow and REALLY think out what you want to be doing first. Then communicate with D and DD appropriately.

Galagirl
 

ThrottleTherapy

New member
Glad it helped you.

This?



Might even slow your roll on being friends. And even slower on anything "more than friends" if that even happens.

Who IS this DD lady today? Remember nostalgia can cloud the view. Who you each used to be back then is not who you are today. For nostalgia's sake a coffee date might be ok. But more than that? Being friends again? Being something more than friends? Go slow and base it on the TODAY stuff, not the stuff of yesteryear.



How long ago was this divorce? It's not recent, right? Cuz rebound relationships are nrgh. And taking up with recently divorced people with kids in a rebound thing? More nrgh.

It might be me in my current stage of life wanting to be at empty nest and be done with active parenting kids. But if some ex of mine blew in out of nowhere fresh out of a divorce with 2 kids hitting me up for open relationship? I'd be wondering "What is it you want really? A new mom for your kids ASAP? So you are scrolling down your ex list to fast track that?"

That's the problem with nostalgia soft feelings. People can prey on that. Not saying DD is doing that here.... but wassup with the impatience?

So go slow and REALLY think out what you want to be doing first. Then communicate with D and DD appropriately.

Galagirl
All of that is why I told her that we need to be slow. We are just getting to know each other again. So far she has respect that. Her asking if I was able to open my relationship with my wife definitely made me wonder a lot of where she is coming from. My brother brought the idea of remembering who each other where vs. who we are. I'm not sure yet that DD is the one I want to be involved with.

I posted this just for perspectives and different understanding.
 

ThrottleTherapy

New member
I appreciate everyone's time and input. I know this is a mess. This may not be the way I want to try a polyamorous relationship. But it may. I think ultimately it just brought it back to my attention. I don't know what to do with how I feel about a change in relationship rules and or what to do with how to feel about DD.

Any communication on all of this is greatly appreciated.
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
I believe that feelings ensue after behavior. And all feelings eventually pass.

You do action behavior or thinking behavior. Then feelings ensue.
  • Like the feelings? Keep doing the action behavior or thinking behavior.
  • Don't like the feelings? Stop doing the action behavior or thinking behavior.
Right now you've been going down memory lane and stirring up muddy nostalgia waters. If you want them to calm? Change behaviors.

One behavior you can do? Is to do NOTHING. Stop chatting with DD and let the nostalgia muddy waters calm. Then maybe you can see more clear. Where's the fire? Or big hurry?

If you want to do poly? Whether with DD or not? Either way? You STILL have to get things at home sorted FIRST. It's not like there's tons of pathways. These are the ones I see.

1A) Wife is not up for polyamory
  • You let it go and stick with monogamy.
  • You do not pursue anyone else.

1B) Wife is not up for polyamory
  • You stil want poly.
  • You break up with wife CLEAN first.
  • Then you pursue whoever you want how you want since no longer have to take wife into consideration.
1C) Wife is not up for polyamory
  • You still want to see DD
  • You started a secret cheating affair with DD if she's up for that. (I do not suggest this pathway so I grey it out)

2A) Wife IS up for polyamory
  • Wife is ok with exes.
  • You pursue DD

2B) Wife IS up for polyamory
  • Wife is not ok with exes.
  • You let the idea of DD go.
  • You pursue new people instead.

2C) Wife IS up for polyamory
  • Wife is not ok with exes.
  • You still want DD though.
  • You break up with wife CLEAN first.
  • Then pursue DD how you want since no longer have to take wife into consideration.

There might be something else, but I'm having trouble seeing it.

Sitting with discomfort is a skill. Some people don't like doing it, so they hurry up decision making "to get it over with." Is that the source of anxiety?

Right now? You could rest. Sit with the discomfort and do nothing.

Then when you are ready to think about it again? You reflect and figure out which pathway you want to take at this point in time.

Galagirl
 
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kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
Hello ThrottleTherapy,

I guess it's stating the obvious, but regardless of other factors it seems to me that your next step should be informing D that you and DD have feelings for each other. I'm not sure whether you should blend that conversation with the question of whether D would be willing for you to start a new relationship with DD. D might bring that up herself. In any case, it seems to me the obvious follow-up conversation to the initial confession.

If D seems uncertain about whether she would consent (to poly and to the thing with you and DD), then you could bring up the topic from time to time and see if D's feelings about it have firmed up at all. It could take D as much as a year to decide. That's one course of action you could take. It's an option.

It's possible D will say okay to poly, but no to you having a (romantic) relationship with DD. If that happens, you will have to decide where your consent lies. Are you willing to let DD go, or would that be a deal breaker? Would it be a deal breaker if D said no to poly in general, or would you be willing to abandon your poly ideas? Divorce isn't fun to think about, but it's one of the possibilities you'll need to consider.

All of this, of course, assumes that you decide you to want to get involved with DD. I'm assuming it will take you a while to decide that. In the meantime, you just have that initial conversation to have with D, the one where you inform D that you and DD do indeed still have feelings for one another.

I hope you can work all this out somehow.
Sincerely,
Kevin T.
 
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