How do I talk to my husband?

Makaylakay1213

New member
So I’m bisexual(f) and my husband is straight, and up to this point we’ve been happily monogamous. I’m very happy in my marriage, and am satisfied, but the past few months I’ve noticed a couple crushes I’ve had. And thinking on it, I concluded I was confident in my marriage and that I could have these feelings for another without it effecting my feelings for my husband. Not only that, but that accepting I did have feelings for both it made me happy. By now I’ve come out to myself as poly, and have read into it and really thought about different situations I’d be happy in.
I haven’t told anyone this though, not my husband or even my best friend. I know my husband would be accepting, his best friend is poly too... I’m just worried he’ll think it’s because I’m not satisfied with him and that he’ll close himself off from me. I don’t want to hide it from him, but I don’t know how to start the conversation or even bring up the idea before mentioning my own feelings. I know I’d be fine if he would want to remain in a monogamous marriage, but I really feel coming out to him would lift so much of my chest.
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
Could tell him you have had some things going on in your inner life that you want to share with him. But you have been afraid of how he would react or respond so could you make an appointment to have deep conversation in a safe space/time when he's ready to listen?

Once the appointment time arrives?

Print the post above and just hand it over for him to read if you cannot speak.

Or tell him what's going on with you verbally if you can speak.

Prob start with you have had some big realizations recently. And that you aren't asking to change the monogamous marriage.

You just want to be known by him and be "out" to him.

If you want there to be more emotional/mental intimacy between you? Lean in and participate in your relationship. That is my suggestion.

HTH!
Galagirl
 

Al99

Active member
Hi Makaylakay - and welcome to the Forum! I very much relate to your situation, as my wife approached me a few years ago about opening our mono marriage so she could explore her resurgent feelings for an old college boyfriend. Ultimately, I agreed - and now have pretty much a "solidly poly marriage", with both of us having additional partners.

It is always important to advise anyone thinking of discussing opening their marriage with their spouse to realize that just by discussing it, you will have changed your marriage to some extent - just by considering the possibility of opening up you have brought into question "your vows of monogamy" and their importance to you (and all that monogamy represents with its "one and only" orientation). It is also important as well as to realize that some marriages do not survive the transition to poly - it is definitely not a way to "fix" marital issues. I would venture that only the strong (marriages) survive this transition. However, since you have already believe that your husband will be accepting, you are certainly one step ahead already.

Galagirl talked about your segue way into the conversation. I would also add that since his best friend is poly, that might be a conversation starter.

In regard to your understandable concern about your husband feeling that you are suggesting poly because "there is something wrong with him" (a common concern), my wife did a number of things right in approaching me about opening up our marriage. With an emphasis on how it wasn't about me, no matter how much it might seem that way to me - which I will repost here:

_______________________________________

My wife, Becky, did a number of things very right in approaching me about opening up our relationship - even though she has not actually "studied" poly. Which was interesting, since much of what she did right is what one often sees recommended on the poly forums and in the literature.

1. Made sure that I understood that it was not about me - no matter how much it might seem that way. There was nothing wrong with me and I had not failed in any way. This was about her feelings and not a reflection on me.

2. Made sure I understood that it wasn't because she didn't love me as much as she ever had - but she believed it was possible to love more than one man at the same time without diminishing the love for either (the classic poly argument is to consider that a parent can love multiple children at the same time and still love any others than come along as well).

3. Made certain to emphasize that her relationship with Ben (her bf) would be "in addition to" - and not a replacement for - our marital relationship. And that our relationship would still be "primary" (after all we were married with a child in a home - with a mortgage, etc) - and that we could negotiate what exactly that would look like. I found the phrase "in addition to" to be particularly helpful in helping me come to terms with her desire to have a second relationship.

4. She was very patient - and did not try to push it along too quickly. We could take it one step at a time, and she agreed not to have sex until I felt I could accept the idea. And although she did want to include sex in their relationship eventually as a natural progression, for her it was much more about her feelings and her emotional involvement.

5. She was willing to talk about it as much as I needed to - no matter how long it took or how often - and to answer any questions that I might have - without any apparent frustration. She understood the need for me to process the situation. And she was very patient and understanding of my frustration and emotional turmoil at her request - very validating while still upholding her belief.

6. She went out of her way to reassure me of the depth of our relationship during this time - avoiding arguments, being especially loving and affectionate as well very open and honest about here thoughts and desires.

7. She agreed that being completely honest and transparent was absolutely essential - to whatever degree that I felt I needed that to be ok.

8. Made sure that I understood that I could also have another partner if and when I was ready.

And, I already understood from life experience that it is very possible to love more than one person at a time (acting on that is the issue) - and that one person cannot supply all of another's needs. These points may need to be discussed as well.

We also had an in depth discussion about sex when we reached the point where I was ready to talk about it - and agreed on the various parameters. This will obviously vary by couple - but we agreed on transparency and a willingness to utilize the sexual energy created by their relationship to enhance our own (as discussed both in "The Ethical Slut' and in "Opening Up".) This proved to be helpful when the time came - as I discussed in the comments just prior to this post on this same introductory post thread.

______________________________________

Also, here's a link to a list of some of the best poly websites - that might help in your discussion with him.


A book that a number of us recommend for couples opening up a marriage is:

Opening Up: A Guide to Creating and Sustaining Open Relationships
by Tristan Taormino

Best wishes for a successful conversation! We will look forward to hearing your story as it unfolds.

Al
 

Makaylakay1213

New member
Hi Makaylakay - and welcome to the Forum! I very much relate to your situation, as my wife approached me a few years ago about opening our mono marriage so she could explore her resurgent feelings for an old college boyfriend. Ultimately, I agreed - and now have pretty much a "solidly poly marriage", with both of us having additional partners.

It is always important to advise anyone thinking of discussing opening their marriage with their spouse to realize that just by discussing it, you will have changed your marriage to some extent - just by considering the possibility of opening up you have brought into question "your vows of monogamy" and their importance to you (and all that monogamy represents with its "one and only" orientation). It is also important as well as to realize that some marriages do not survive the transition to poly - it is definitely not a way to "fix" marital issues. I would venture that only the strong (marriages) survive this transition. However, since you have already believe that your husband will be accepting, you are certainly one step ahead already.

Galagirl talked about your segue way into the conversation. I would also add that since his best friend is poly, that might be a conversation starter.

In regard to your understandable concern about your husband feeling that you are suggesting poly because "there is something wrong with him" (a common concern), my wife did a number of things right in approaching me about opening up our marriage. With an emphasis on how it wasn't about me, no matter how much it might seem that way to me - which I will repost here:

_______________________________________

My wife, Becky, did a number of things very right in approaching me about opening up our relationship - even though she has not actually "studied" poly. Which was interesting, since much of what she did right is what one often sees recommended on the poly forums and in the literature.

1. Made sure that I understood that it was not about me - no matter how much it might seem that way. There was nothing wrong with me and I had not failed in any way. This was about her feelings and not a reflection on me.

2. Made sure I understood that it wasn't because she didn't love me as much as she ever had - but she believed it was possible to love more than one man at the same time without diminishing the love for either (the classic poly argument is to consider that a parent can love multiple children at the same time and still love any others than come along as well).

3. Made certain to emphasize that her relationship with Ben (her bf) would be "in addition to" - and not a replacement for - our marital relationship. And that our relationship would still be "primary" (after all we were married with a child in a home - with a mortgage, etc) - and that we could negotiate what exactly that would look like. I found the phrase "in addition to" to be particularly helpful in helping me come to terms with her desire to have a second relationship.

4. She was very patient - and did not try to push it along too quickly. We could take it one step at a time, and she agreed not to have sex until I felt I could accept the idea. And although she did want to include sex in their relationship eventually as a natural progression, for her it was much more about her feelings and her emotional involvement.

5. She was willing to talk about it as much as I needed to - no matter how long it took or how often - and to answer any questions that I might have - without any apparent frustration. She understood the need for me to process the situation. And she was very patient and understanding of my frustration and emotional turmoil at her request - very validating while still upholding her belief.

6. She went out of her way to reassure me of the depth of our relationship during this time - avoiding arguments, being especially loving and affectionate as well very open and honest about here thoughts and desires.

7. She agreed that being completely honest and transparent was absolutely essential - to whatever degree that I felt I needed that to be ok.

8. Made sure that I understood that I could also have another partner if and when I was ready.

And, I already understood from life experience that it is very possible to love more than one person at a time (acting on that is the issue) - and that one person cannot supply all of another's needs. These points may need to be discussed as well.

We also had an in depth discussion about sex when we reached the point where I was ready to talk about it - and agreed on the various parameters. This will obviously vary by couple - but we agreed on transparency and a willingness to utilize the sexual energy created by their relationship to enhance our own (as discussed both in "The Ethical Slut' and in "Opening Up".) This proved to be helpful when the time came - as I discussed in the comments just prior to this post on this same introductory post thread.

______________________________________

Also, here's a link to a list of some of the best poly websites - that might help in your discussion with him.


A book that a number of us recommend for couples opening up a marriage is:

Opening Up: A Guide to Creating and Sustaining Open Relationships
by Tristan Taormino

Best wishes for a successful conversation! We will look forward to hearing your story as it unfolds.

Al
Thank you for sharing your experience. Posting on the forum really set things in stone for me and I talked to my best friend and she was 100% accepting and encouraging me to speak with my husband soon. I really feel more confident, and with the knowledge on what helped you I think it’ll go over well. Will update on how things go soon!
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Hello Makaylakay1213,

I'm looking forward to your update. It sounds like you now have some idea of how you'll put it to your husband. My vote was going be something like, "Honey, I have something really important to tell you." Make sure he's sitting down. "Before I tell you this, I need you to know that I am fully satisfied with you, and that my love for you is as strong as ever." Then pause; breathe. "What I want to tell you, is that I have decided that I am polyamorous." Then, just kind of work with whatever conversation ensues. If things get heated, take a break from the conversation, but don't just drop it either, come back to it a few hours (days?) later. Use your own good judgment in deciding when to have this conversation. And be ready to answer questions like, "Polyamory? What does that look like? What does that mean for us? for our marriage?" etc.

If my vote is helpful to you in any way, excellent; if not, that's okay too. You are in the situation and as such, are uniquely qualified to discern what would or would not be helpful. I only post what I post here just in case, and because it might help others who read this thread in the future.

Looking forward to your update,
With warm regards,
Kevin T.
 

Makaylakay1213

New member
So I’m bisexual(f) and my husband is straight, and up to this point we’ve been happily monogamous. I’m very happy in my marriage, and am satisfied, but the past few months I’ve noticed a couple crushes I’ve had. And thinking on it, I concluded I was confident in my marriage and that I could have these feelings for another without it effecting my feelings for my husband. Not only that, but that accepting I did have feelings for both it made me happy. By now I’ve come out to myself as poly, and have read into it and really thought about different situations I’d be happy in.
I haven’t told anyone this though, not my husband or even my best friend. I know my husband would be accepting, his best friend is poly too... I’m just worried he’ll think it’s because I’m not satisfied with him and that he’ll close himself off from me. I don’t want to hide it from him, but I don’t know how to start the conversation or even bring up the idea before mentioning my own feelings. I know I’d be fine if he would want to remain in a monogamous marriage, but I really feel coming out to him would lift so much of my chest.
I think this is how to properly update you guys? We had the day off together, and I kinda upped the lovey dovey today. Extra compliments, extra hugs, and made sure we got some chores done so we can relax tonight (football lol). Before dinner I just felt it in my gut that I needed to do it
So I’m bisexual(f) and my husband is straight, and up to this point we’ve been happily monogamous. I’m very happy in my marriage, and am satisfied, but the past few months I’ve noticed a couple crushes I’ve had. And thinking on it, I concluded I was confident in my marriage and that I could have these feelings for another without it effecting my feelings for my husband. Not only that, but that accepting I did have feelings for both it made me happy. By now I’ve come out to myself as poly, and have read into it and really thought about different situations I’d be happy in.
I haven’t told anyone this though, not my husband or even my best friend. I know my husband would be accepting, his best friend is poly too... I’m just worried he’ll think it’s because I’m not satisfied with him and that he’ll close himself off from me. I don’t want to hide it from him, but I don’t know how to start the conversation or even bring up the idea before mentioning my own feelings. I know I’d be fine if he would want to remain in a monogamous marriage, but I really feel coming out to him would lift so much of my chest.
So I’m bisexual(f) and my husband is straight, and up to this point we’ve been happily monogamous. I’m very happy in my marriage, and am satisfied, but the past few months I’ve noticed a couple crushes I’ve had. And thinking on it, I concluded I was confident in my marriage and that I could have these feelings for another without it effecting my feelings for my husband. Not only that, but that accepting I did have feelings for both it made me happy. By now I’ve come out to myself as poly, and have read into it and really thought about different situations I’d be happy in.
I haven’t told anyone this though, not my husband or even my best friend. I know my husband would be accepting, his best friend is poly too... I’m just worried he’ll think it’s because I’m not satisfied with him and that he’ll close himself off from me. I don’t want to hide it from him, but I don’t know how to start the conversation or even bring up the idea before mentioning my own feelings. I know I’d be fine if he would want to remain in a monogamous marriage, but I really feel coming out to him would lift so much of my chest.
I think this is how to properly update you guys? We had the day off together, and I kinda upped the lovey dovey today. Extra compliments, extra hugs, and made sure we got some chores done so we can relax tonight (football lol). Before dinner I just felt it in my gut that I needed to do it. He was on the couch and I sat down in his lap so we were facing/hugging each other. I said “I wanna tell you something, it’s not bad, it’s just about me. And I need you to know I love you very much and I just don’t want you to feel bad. You’re the best thing to happen to me, and I don’t want things to change between us.” He looked worried but ready for it. I clarified it was that I was pregnant or had cheated and by this point I’d started crying (I cry a lot in general) and just continued “I’ve been thinking this over for years and lately I’ve been reading into it, and I just want to always be honest with you about me. But I just realized I’m poly?” He hugged me really tight and said he loved me and was really happy he told me because he knows it’s hard. Even said he’d kinda of figured over the years (been together for four years). I just kept repeating I loved him and didn’t necessarily want to act on anything, just wanted him to know about all of me. He said he knew a good bit because of his friend, but definitely wanted to continue reading into it. No questions right now but I assured him I was open to any questions and conversations any time now or in the future and he said he really appreciated that. We’re now making dinner and ready for the rest of our relaxing night. Thank you all for the advice and kind words. I couldn’t have done this without it❤️
 

Al99

Active member
Congrats on the successful conversation!

Now that you've reached this point, do you hope to act on some of those crushes? Of course that would require another conversation that might be somewhat more difficult, but I do think you laid a solid foundation with this first conversation.

Thanks for the update! Keep us posted as your story continues to unfold - and feel free to join the rest of the conversation as well. :)

Al
 

Makaylakay1213

New member
Congrats on the successful conversation!

Now that you've reached this point, do you hope to act on some of those crushes? Of course that would require another conversation that might be somewhat more difficult, but I do think you laid a solid foundation with this first conversation.

Thanks for the update! Keep us posted as your story continues to unfold - and feel free to join the rest of the conversation as well. :)

Al
There’s only one right now that I’d be interested in but that person is kind of old fashioned gentleman type. So its gonna be a whole other conversation, he’s cool though and I think I can at least get him to understand my situation. Then maybe I’ll lay hints thats I like him 😅 I definitely want to give my husband and I some time to be used to sharing this knowledge, and him time to adjust before discussing crushes and stuff.
I’m super excited to start joining in on other conversations as time goes on.
 

dingedheart

Active member
also congrats on a hard / stressful conversation 👍




. And I need you to know I love you very much and I just don’t want you to feel bad. You’re the best thing to happen to me, and I don’t want things to change between us.

Was the part about not wanting things to change between you a comfort line to possibly cushion a suspected blow ?? Or did you have something specific in mind.?

Because what you’re laying the ground work / asking him to participate in is going to change things ( maybe lots of things ) between you.
 

Makaylakay1213

New member
also congrats on a hard / stressful conversation 👍






Was the part about not wanting things to change between you a comfort line to possibly cushion a suspected blow ?? Or did you have something specific in mind.?

Because what you’re laying the ground work / asking him to participate in is going to change things ( maybe lots of things ) between you.
Definitely a cushion line, but also in terms of I don’t expect an open relationship after telling him. He actually said something to me later on how things are going to change, because there’s no way it’s not going to now. That led into us talking about our wants and any kind of boundaries we might set if we do open our marriage.
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Hi Makaylakay,

Thanks for updating us, you did it just fine (other than a bit of double-posted text). I think you should give it some time before telling him, "I would like to open our marriage to poly." In the meantime, keep the channels of communication open. Your husband is right, things are now going to change, and you can steer them in the right direction if you keep communicating. It also helps if you can be flexible, you may agree on one thing now, but later decide you want to renegotiate, and that's okay. It's almost inevitable, renegotiating your agreements is kind of the way you learn as you go along.

Much regards,
Kevin T.
 

dingedheart

Active member
I’m not sure where the line is between kind / loving and being totally honest broaching topics and still getting what you want. People bitch about the goal post always moving. People get upset from feeling like they were the frog placed in luke warm water with the heat steadily increased. Theres a big big difference from going slow and deliberate with time markers for adjustments and manipulation.....agreeing to something as to not have the horse doesn’t buck too hard and run off.

IMO I think you be better off being completely honest instead of trying to spin things. I think trying to manipulate him on such a core issue ( your marriage ) could really backfire down the road.

The reason i brought up that line I quoted in other post is i wasn’t sure you understood what you were asking for which is lots of change. And it’s good that you both understand that. 👍
That brings us to new topic of spin. “ I don’t want things to change between us “.... today or immediately but I really really do want things to change . My recommendation is to try NOT so spin or use exaggerated words to make you point because your actions and intentions will ultimately betray you AND this really erodes trust. Nobody likes feeling suckered.
 

Makaylakay1213

New member
I’m not sure where the line is between kind / loving and being totally honest broaching topics and still getting what you want. People bitch about the goal post always moving. People get upset from feeling like they were the frog placed in luke warm water with the heat steadily increased. Theres a big big difference from going slow and deliberate with time markers for adjustments and manipulation.....agreeing to something as to not have the horse doesn’t buck too hard and run off.

IMO I think you be better off being completely honest instead of trying to spin things. I think trying to manipulate him on such a core issue ( your marriage ) could really backfire down the road.

The reason i brought up that line I quoted in other post is i wasn’t sure you understood what you were asking for which is lots of change. And it’s good that you both understand that. 👍
That brings us to new topic of spin. “ I don’t want things to change between us “.... today or immediately but I really really do want things to change . My recommendation is to try NOT so spin or use exaggerated words to make you point because your actions and intentions will ultimately betray you AND this really erodes trust. Nobody likes feeling suckered.
I meant to reply earlier but I didn’t even realize what I had said with the “I don’t want things to change.” And I think you’re absolutely right it was a cushion line because I was worried. I think what it came from was me not wanting to tell him because I wanted To add someone in my life, but just because he needed to know. I said I’m okay if you want it to remain just the two of us, I’m perfectly happy with that. My husband was actually the one later that night that stated “I just want to know how this is going to change things. We can’t just act like this isn’t going to change our marriage in some way.” Not in a bad way but just matter of factly, and this is what led into us talking about what I’d be looking for if he was okay us opening our marriage. We haven’t discussed anything more on if we’d want to because he wants to do some more reading on his own, we’ve just talked about what this means. One thing was that he’d probably want to have more like a kitchen table poly (he picked up on this term a lot quicker than I did for whatever reason I was overthinking it.), but somebody on a Facebook page I had brought up the point of what if my other partner didn’t want to meet my husband? So I mentioned it last night as something we’d need to think about and talk about if we do ever want to open things up, he agreed completely, “I hadn’t thought about that, that’s very possible”.
I’m going to see if I can find the audio of the Ethical Slut and listen to that today, I read some articles I was suggested including one about disentangling and that was a lot. We’re just gonna try to take it slow so we can be as open and honest and prepared as we can be, I don’t think that’s a terrible plan
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
That sounds like a good plan to me. To a large extent, you will be learning as you go along. Right now you might say something like, "That sounds like a good idea, I want that." Then, later on, you might say, "Oh, I didn't realize that about that, I guess I don't so much want it after all." And that's okay. You don't have to get everything perfect right now. Also, you are a unique person and so is your husband, and as such, what works for you in poly will be different from what works for others. And that's just one of the reasons why you have to learn as you go along.
 

tdh

New member
Another book that includes more practical relationship advice is "More Then Two" if you haven't read it yet. I would recommend it to anyone honestly (Poly or not) but you and your husband might find it helpful to read a chapter and discuss it after.

To the point of a partner not wanting to meet your husband. If that is something you both want, then that person is not the right partner for an emotional relationship. It would be a deal breaker and a bummer but if everyone needs to sit around a table and be civil, then to be part of your polycule they will need to do that. There will be things with partners who might require similar requests (holidays, dedicated time away, meeting friends and family, etc) and it will be up to your group to determine how open you all want to be.
 

Makaylakay1213

New member
Another book that includes more practical relationship advice is "More Then Two" if you haven't read it yet. I would recommend it to anyone honestly (Poly or not) but you and your husband might find it helpful to read a chapter and discuss it after.

To the point of a partner not wanting to meet your husband. If that is something you both want, then that person is not the right partner for an emotional relationship. It would be a deal breaker and a bummer but if everyone needs to sit around a table and be civil, then to be part of your polycule they will need to do that. There will be things with partners who might require similar requests (holidays, dedicated time away, meeting friends and family, etc) and it will be up to your group to determine how open you all want to be.
I’ve actually been checking out the More Than Two website! It’s pretty interesting. Right now I don’t think I care if my husband would meet my partners, but I would like him to know who they are and a little about them and vice versa. But I have no issue being more kitchen table either. Once we discuss it more on what makes him comfortable and then if I actually find someone it might change. We’ll figure it out as time goes and we experience more.
 
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