Getting through the initial stage of partner having sex with meta

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Arc

Member
Hi all,

I'm looking for some advice on getting through a specific period in opening a relationship: Starting the sex part.

Just as a summary, my partner R came out as poly, we went through a period of poly hell, I got a lot of support on this forum. We're now in couples therapy with a poly-friendly (and mono-friendly) therapist. R has a new partner, F.

So we're negotiating when "we" are ready for them to start a sexual relationship. And I say when "we" are ready, meaning both "when will I be ready" and "when will we be ready as a couple." They, suffice it to say, are ready already. We'll be talking about this with our therapist, but I thought I'd enlist the wisdom of the forum about how to process this next step.

So far we have dealt with the STI discussion and have come to an agreement about what safer sex would look like. I have begun exploring relationships on my own, although realistically (barring any miracles) it's not likely I'll be in a situation to be sexual with anyone else for a few months. I am feeling pretty okay about moving forward. We've made a lot of progress since the fall. If I had a partner of my own I think I'd be feeling even better, but I've decided that I don't want to drag things out unnecessarily, for R's sake. We might be at the stage where a "rip the bandaid" moment is needed, so we can just move on.

I am not sure if I'm thinking about all the potentialities. But presumably I say, "You're good to go." Then what? I guess they plan a date. She'll go over to his house. What should I do in the meantime? Watch a really good movie? Get drunk? Get stoned? Have a friend come over to hang out? (we have kids so my options are limited) Meditate? Chat online with a friend?

Should we agree to have her come home early enough that night so we can process/reconnect? Or should I just go to bed and wait until the next day to reconnect? Should we make sure it's a Saturday night so we can reconnect on Sunday, rather than go off to work? Or maybe an afternoon in the week?

And most importantly, am I overthinking this?? Or underthinking it? :ROFLMAO:

I know everyone's situations differ, but if you have any ideas about the best strategies for maintaining my mental health during the this adjustment period, and reconnecting afterwards, I would greatly appreciate them. Thanks!

-Arc
 

Evie

Mod
You have a bunch of good questions but I'm not sure someone else can really help you find the right answers. Just pick enjoyable activities to fill your night.

I'd not recommend alcohol though.

For me, I'd talk to a friend online, but that's because that's the way I talk with my friends. If you have friends in town, have one visit. Play a game or something. Play board games with the kids until their bedtime, they'll probably love the exclusive daddy time. If it were me, I'd go with Saturday and not expect her home until Sunday. Reconnect then. Please don't expect her to do any processing with you when she is in a joyful place. Don't burst that bubble, it will do damage at your end of the V.
 

Arc

Member
You have a bunch of good questions but I'm not sure someone else can really help you find the right answers. Just pick enjoyable activities to fill your night.
Yes, I realize that it's very personal; I guess I was thinking I might get some ideas that I might not otherwise think of.
I'd not recommend alcohol though.
That's good advice... maybe one beer with a movie would be okay, but nothing more than that.
For me, I'd talk to a friend online, but that's because that's the way I talk with my friends. If you have friends in town, have one visit. Play a game or something. Play board games with the kids until their bedtime, they'll probably love the exclusive daddy time. If it were me, I'd go with Saturday and not expect her home until Sunday. Reconnect then. Please don't expect her to do any processing with you when she is in a joyful place. Don't burst that bubble, it will do damage at your end of the V.
See this is all good advice and good ideas!

We haven't really discussed how to handle overnights yet - the implication has been that she would just come home late (probably, realistically speaking, when I'm trying ineffectively to fall asleep in the guest bedroom). But you're suggesting maybe she just come home the next morning? Yikes! But I'll definitely bring that up with her.

And thanks for pointing out the risk of bursting her bubble. Since I'm not used to this experience/world, I'm not used to thinking about it in those terms, but I can totally see how letting her enjoy the experience without a big crash the next day would probably pay off for all of us in the end. Now, there's a chance I'll just feel really down, and I can't help that. So maybe I should have plans for myself, like a hike, or she should have plans for herself, and then reconnecting on the Sunday evening.

Thanks again!
 

Evie

Mod
A hike sounds like a great plan.

I know it seems like a bit of a leap to plan for an overnight straight away, but imo, it's easier in the long run and ensures you won't try and discuss anything until the next day when you also have had a sleep and have done a little more adjusting yourself.

I'm sure no-one wants a confrontational homecoming (worst case scenario) so let go until the next day.
 

Arc

Member
A hike sounds like a great plan.

I know it seems like a bit of a leap to plan for an overnight straight away, but imo, it's easier in the long run and ensures you won't try and discuss anything until the next day when you also have had a sleep and have done a little more adjusting yourself.

I'm sure no-one wants a confrontational homecoming (worst case scenario) so let go until the next day.
Yes, I can see that. Hadn't thought of spending the night as better but definitely better than me wondering when she'll be home - midnight? 2am, 3am? I might even be able to fall asleep.

Then I either take off before she gets home (depending on if I can drop the kids off at the grandparents) or wait until she comes, have a quick hug, leave her with the kids, and go on my hike.
 

icesong

Moderator
Staff member
The “don’t drink too much but do something fun that evening, expect her to stay out all night to remove the uncertainty, and then give everyone a chance to regroup before talking about it sounds like the _perfect_ plan, IMO.
 
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GalaGirl

Well-known member
How you all want to transition into this is up to you all.

Depending on your own need for before care / after care... maybe you don't even want to know that they started having sex? Just agree "sex is on the table now" and you don't want to know details of "we first did it on Friday June X." More like a general "started in June somewhere." And agree there are safer sex practices in place?

She could also plan for a day date on Saturday. Brunch, movies, share sex in the day, go window shopping or whatever else. Still leaves plenty of time to come home in the evening so you deal with one thing at a time. "Sex is on the table now" only. Not that PLUS being out late or spending the night?

But however it goes... could still give her space and you space to process and decompress before talking about it again. It takes me at least 3 days to clear adrenalin dump.

That doesn't mean you can't do reconnecting/after care activities though -- cuddling, spending time together, etc.

What you do with yourself.... what do you normally do when you get time on your own or with friends?

Galagirl
 
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dingedheart

Well-known member
How long /how much time have you designated for the poly experiment? As mentioned some people want to every so slow wade into it while others want to jump in to find out if it’s sink or swim. IMO by doing all these small baby step type activities makes for a prolonged torture….if tortured is how you feel on some of this. Do you want to spend a month of time ( however many night ) staring at the ceiling in your guest room thinking of all the possible things that could be going on and wondering is this as good as it gets for this. In that regard I’d recommend putting Yourself in what you consider the most traumatic situation that you can imagine because once you survive it and it wasn’t as bad as you thought it’s all down hill vs the slow grinding climb to the top.

The only thing that I might disagree with previous posters on is the idea of bursting her bubble. IMO her bubble is her fucking issue not yours. Also I wouldnt be overly concerned doing damage to your side of the V by expressing your thoughts or feels. And lastly it good or ok to have a plan or idea but only do what’s good for you and forget the team mentality. Lots of guys that have been in your position have told me they did things or went all with things to demonstrate their value or commitment to their spouse and to some degree to prove to themselves they were “ in the new dynamic “ to only regret things. Hindsight is always going to be 20/20 but how needs a list.
 

Evie

Mod
The only thing that I might disagree with previous posters on is the idea of bursting her bubble. IMO her bubble is her fucking issue not yours. Also I wouldn't be overly concerned doing damage to your side of the V by expressing your thoughts or feels. And lastly it good or ok to have a plan or idea but only do what’s good for you and forget the team mentality.
Opening up works if you support each other in it. That does involve teamwork, like agreements around who is out when and who has childcare. And courtesy, such as picking your times for any processing discussions, not ambushing the other person, especially not straight after they have got home. No good is going to come of a meltdown at 3am, or even 9am, when it could have been prevented by a bit more planning. Just remember, one of these days it's going to be you heading out for a Saturday night. The way you treat her now may be laying the foundations for how she will treat you then. Courtesy is a good foundation, imo.
 

icesong

Moderator
Staff member
The only thing that I might disagree with previous posters on is the idea of bursting her bubble. IMO her bubble is her fucking issue not yours. Also I wouldnt be overly concerned doing damage to your side of the V by expressing your thoughts or feels. And lastly it good or ok to have a plan or idea but only do what’s good for you and forget the team mentality.

I mean one's spouse is presumably someone one *cares* about, this isn't a zero sum game where one has to make the other person feel bad in order to feel better yourself, and presumably one wouldn't *want* to do that to someone one cares about either.
 

dingedheart

Well-known member
Opening up works if you support each other in it. That does involve teamwork, like agreements around who is out when and who has childcare.
that isn’t even in question I was referring to a specific situation.



And courtesy, such as picking your times for any processing discussions, not ambushing the other person, especially not straight after they have got home. No good is going to come of a meltdown at 3am, or even 9am, when it could have been prevented by a bit more planning.
I DIDNT SEE ARC the type to have a 3 am meltdown or any really meltdown and I wholeheartedly agree thise aren’t going to be very productive in the grand scheme. However being afraid to express a thought or feeling because you dont want to ruin her mood is equally silly IMO.


Just remember, one of these days it's going to be you heading out for a Saturday night. The way you treat her now may be laying the foundations for how she will treat you then. Courtesy is a good foundation, imo.
GOOD ADVICE. However maybe the foundation is the key …it may not matter in the least how he acts and performs as we’ve seen here Hundreds of times. I’m not advocating a meltdown nor would anyone I just don’t think sharing his truth at whatever moment he might want to do that should take a backseat to her endorphin high. Everyone is and adult here and has to recognize the costs of this kind of stuff.
 

Evie

Mod
No-one plans a meltdown, but "sharing a truth" when sleep deprived if the person has been winding themselves up with churning thoughts for hours on end is just about the recipe for one.

For that, I agree do away with the baby steps because each baby step is just another opportunity to overthink.
 

dingedheart

Well-known member
I mean one's spouse is presumably someone one *cares* about, this isn't a zero sum game where one has to make the other person feel bad in order to feel better yourself, and presumably one wouldn't *want* to do that to someone one cares about either.
I’m having a hard time with the idea that someone sharing a thought or feeling is automatically driven to make his or her partner to feel BAD and by doing this Will automatically make one feel better. I don’t see the one to one there.
 
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Arc

Member

dingedheart

Well-known member
No-one plans a meltdown,
well some people might….but Arc seems like a very deliberate and conscientious person doing his due diligence in the process. I don’t recall the efforts Mrs Arc has done in this process other than cultivating new partners and couples therapy So when it’s her turn in the barrel who knows 🤷.


but "sharing a truth" when sleep deprived if the person has been winding themselves up with churning thoughts for hours on end is just about the recipe for one.
I don’t think the sleep deprivation is going to be an issue on his end …might be for her. DEFINITELY THE WIND up would be a much much greater concern. And again meltdown not recommended or advised.


For that, I agree do away with the baby steps because each baby step is just another opportunity to overthink.
I’m saying there is the possibility for prolonged pain and suffering vs ONE awful night or weekend.
 

Arc

Member
How you all want to transition into this is up to you all.

Depending on your own need for before care / after care... maybe you don't even want to know that they started having sex? Just agree "sex is on the table now" and you don't want to know details of "we first did it on Friday June X." More like a general "started in June somewhere." And agree there are safer sex practices in place?
Yes, I was actually thinking of this as an alternate plan; in theory it seems really good. What I worry about it that I will, in practice, be thinking about it happening each time she gets together with him, and I will never have a sense of resolution. Or, I will just assume that it's happening the next time they get together, directly following our agreement, and will react as though it were true regardless of whether it is or not! So maybe it is better to just know. But then, for all I know they might not want to plan sex on a particular night, and will want to just see what happens (although, realistically speaking, once I give the go ahead it's pretty likely it will happen the next time they meet, unless something unexpected happens).

Hmmm, now I think I might be over thinking it. But I do like your idea GalaGirl, in theory, as long as I don't spend a month in a state of wondering.
She could also plan for a day date on Saturday. Brunch, movies, share sex in the day, go window shopping or whatever else. Still leaves plenty of time to come home in the evening so you deal with one thing at a time. "Sex is on the table now" only. Not that PLUS being out late or spending the night?
Good idea - I didn't think of that. I was assuming it was night. There is a sort of funny side issue here - we have a system for tracking free time, so that neither one of us takes too much/too little. It is basically free time from childcare, household responsibilities, or work. So if one of us goes on a date (or non-date) from 11am - 5pm, that counts as 6 hours of personal time, since the other person is with the kids. However, based on our current system, if one of us goes out from 9pm - 3am, or even until 9am, that counts for 0 personal hours because it is when the kids are asleep (even though, technically, the parent at home is still tied to the house).

So there is sort of a motivation to do things at night - not saying that R is doing this, it just occurs to me when you mention daytime versus nighttime dates.

That said, a Saturday day would be good because it would leave us the evening, and all of Sunday, to reconnect, before the work week starts.
But however it goes... could still give her space and you space to process and decompress before talking about it again. It takes me at least 3 days to clear adrenalin dump.

That doesn't mean you can't do reconnecting/after care activities though -- cuddling, spending time together, etc.

What you do with yourself.... what do you normally do when you get time on your own or with friends?
I usually read if I'm by myself, but I don't think that's a great option because it requires concentration. So I am thinking a really good movie; or a hike, preferably with a friend who I can talk with about what's going on.
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
Yes, I was actually thinking of this as an alternate plan; in theory it seems really good. What I worry about it that I will, in practice, be thinking about it happening each time she gets together with him, and I will never have a sense of resolution.

Well, "sometime in the next two weeks" let's you know by the end of the 2 weeks it happened in there somewhere. You don't spend a month wondering, but you don't have to know EXACTLY which day it was either.

I usually read if I'm by myself, but I don't think that's a great option because it requires concentration. So I am thinking a really good movie; or a hike, preferably with a friend who I can talk with about what's going on.

Any of those work. So does doing a closet deep clean or similar house tasks that are pending. Or baking with the kids. Or a combo of things.

GL!
Galagirl
 
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Arc

Member
How long /how much time have you designated for the poly experiment? As mentioned some people want to every so slow wade into it while others want to jump in to find out if it’s sink or swim. IMO by doing all these small baby step type activities makes for a prolonged torture….if tortured is how you feel on some of this. Do you want to spend a month of time ( however many night ) staring at the ceiling in your guest room thinking of all the possible things that could be going on and wondering is this as good as it gets for this. In that regard I’d recommend putting Yourself in what you consider the most traumatic situation that you can imagine because once you survive it and it wasn’t as bad as you thought it’s all down hill vs the slow grinding climb to the top.
Yeah, that's sort of where I'm at: if this is happening, let's just let it happen. I tried my best to help us lay the groundwork as a couple; we are not as far along as I would like, but how much more am I going to drag this out, if that's where we're going in the end?
The only thing that I might disagree with previous posters on is the idea of bursting her bubble. IMO her bubble is her fucking issue not yours. Also I wouldnt be overly concerned doing damage to your side of the V by expressing your thoughts or feels.
I see where you are coming from here, and don't want to take responsibility for her feelings about my feelings. But I do want to be deliberate about how I express them, and when, to be most effective. And I can think of a few ways I could express my feelings that would do damage to us (Yikes, I am not sure I feel ready to consider us as "one side of a V"!) I may seem really reasonable on this forum but I promise I have the capacity to say unnecessarily hurtful things and I'd rather avoid that. I'll stick with the necessarily hurtful things!

Also, as another person mentioned, if I am planning on being in the reverse situation at some point in the future (and I am, hopefully soon). I have accepted that this is the new framework of our new marriage. If I really don't end up liking it, then I am still free to end things; but for the time being I am looking forward to a) getting over my reactivity and jealousy about R being with other guys; and b) enjoy being with other women. Once I've explored those new phases, I'll take stock and see how I feel about the whole situation.
And lastly it good or ok to have a plan or idea but only do what’s good for you and forget the team mentality. Lots of guys that have been in your position have told me they did things or went all with things to demonstrate their value or commitment to their spouse and to some degree to prove to themselves they were “ in the new dynamic “ to only regret things. Hindsight is always going to be 20/20 but how needs a list.
I guess that is the risk of diving into this, isn't it? We'll see how things go. Right now I am feeling kind of hopeful, but if things go downhill I will certainly update my blog thread and let you all know!
 

LoveBunny

Member
Please don't expect her to do any processing with you when she is in a joyful place. Don't burst that bubble, it will do damage at your end of the V.
Seems unfair that the partner who is struggling, who will be doing emotional work while his partner is off having sexy time, is discouraged from seeking the support of his partner immediately afterwards. I would instead suggest that his wife should be extra attentive and present with Arc afterwards to insure there's no damage to THAT end of her hinge.

If Arc can put his stuff aside to allow her space to pursue another relationship, surely she can put her bliss aside for long enough to connect emotionally with Arc, even if it brings her down from her high. Hopefully we're not talking about a sleep-deprived meltdown here--that's never constructive. But I don't think a hinge ought to be exempt from emotional lifting if one or more of their partners is struggling.

My boyfriend and I have a guideline that's kinda "I will work hard to handle all that I can emotionally on my own, and only come to you for help with the spill-over."

Arc, quite possibly you'll do just fine that night and find it empowering to get through it unscathed. You've done your homework and are better prepared than most to excel at this challenge. I'm rooting for you!
 
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