Husband opened the relationship and I’m still not sure how I feel about it

Sagetree

New member
Hello friends,

I’m a 31 y/o F, in a very committed marriage for 9 years. I’ve only dated/had sex with my husband. My husband (A) was also a virgin when we got married, and has always had a fantasy of having sex with other women (often with me present as well) and has communicated this fantasy to me frequently. It initially made me feel hurt and like I wasn’t good enough (mostly because of my fundamental Christian background), but I’ve gradually gotten over that.

More recently, A began mentioning mutual acquaintances as potential partners, and I got so tired of hearing about it that I started just going along with the idea. Eventually, he became close friends with someone we both know (M) and asked me if I would be ok with him pursuing her. I realized that I don’t believe I have the right to control his sex life, so I told him that and asked him to consider how his choices affect me, and to let me know when he decided to actually be romantic/have sex with someone else. And we agreed I could do the same since that would be fair.

Within a week, he made arrangements with M and they spent the night together. A didn’t tell me beforehand, and he and I had sex the next day before I found out about the situation. To say that I was hurt is an understatement. I felt betrayed because I didn’t feel emotionally ready. I’m an INFJ, if that helps you understand how important and private intimacy is to me.

After a 24 hour period of me rethinking my life, I settled into acceptance and decided to make the best of the situation by befriending M. The three of us have casually hung out several times, and A has had sex with M 3 more times in the past 2 weeks.

M came out as bi to A before all of this happened, and he mentioned this to me in hopes that we might all end up together in a friends with benefits situation. She hasn’t come out as bi to me though, and I’m getting the vibe that she’s just not into me (despite expressing interest in being friends).

I should mention that I’m bi-curious, and probably only because my husband kept bringing up the idea during sex. That being said, I’ll try pretty much anything so I’m open to the idea. But as things stand currently, it looks like that’s not going to happen.

So now that I’ve wrapped my head around the fact that I’m in an open marriage, I’m trying to figure out what I want in this situation. I like the idea of finding my own special friend (male or female), but the idea of how to go about this is overwhelming enough to quit before I start. I’m really emotionally close with my husband and the idea of opening up to someone else seems foreign. And (again, INFJ here) dating a bunch of people is not exactly high on my list of things that sound fun. I’m not even sure of what I want sexually because I’ve had a very satisfying, fairly vanilla relationship thus far.

If you’ve made it this far, you have my gratitude. Mostly just need to get all this off my chest.
 

Magdlyn

Well-known member
I hope it helped to get this all off your chest. Don't allow yourself to be pressured into a threesome just because your husband, A, has that fantasy.

You mention that his gf, M, doesn't seem to be attracted to you. You don't say if you're attracted to her. You might be interested in sex or a relationship with another woman, but people aren't interchangeable. There needs to be definite chemistry and hopefully, a real rapport as well, for it to be polyamory, and not just fucking around.

Take you time getting used to A having sex or more with M. That's a big enough hurdle. There is no need to rush into dating yourself. I hear that you were a virgin when you met or married A. Maybe you're fine with one person (monoamorous) to be with. Maybe eventually you'll want to juggle more than one relationship.

Try reading the book Opening Up, to learn about all the pitfalls and speedbumps in a new poly relationship. Of course, feel free to read everyone's experiences around this board as well.
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
I'm sorry you struggle. I hope getting things off your chest helped some.

I had some questions.

More recently, A began mentioning mutual acquaintances as potential partners, and I got so tired of hearing about it that I started just going along with the idea.

Is that you joyfully consenting to practicing and Open Marriage? Do you want to be here like this? Or was this more saying whatever to shut him up because you were tired and being worn down or railroaded into it?

I realized that I don’t believe I have the right to control his sex life, so I told him that and asked him to consider how his choices affect me, and to let me know when he decided to actually be romantic/have sex with someone else. And we agreed I could do the same since that would be fair.

So this is the agreement?
  • Open Marriage where both can pursue other interests.
  • Consider how choices affect the other one.
  • Let the other one know when a potential is looking to go lover before it happens.

Within a week, he made arrangements with M and they spent the night together. A didn’t tell me beforehand, and he and I had sex the next day before I found out about the situation.

As written, he broke agreement then. He didn't tell you before hand and didn't tell you before sharing sex with you that he had another encounter. (consider how his choices affect you.)

As written, the agreements may also not be realistic or taking your own sex hygiene into account. It also places responsibility for your well being on him rather than in YOUR hands.

Long term, fluid bonded couples can get lax about sex hygiene. Because it's just them in the circle. Well, things have changed, it is NOT just you two in the circle any more, and neither of you remembered to make space for that.

A better way to frame that agreement might be "Before we share sex, we tell if there's been new encounters since the last time we were together."

Then he is responsible for TELLING. As well as you being responsible for ASKING. And vice versa. Then you can both make informed decisions about whether or not you want to share sex right now and what sort of protection to use. Better 2 people looking out for that than zero.

To say that I was hurt is an understatement. I felt betrayed because I didn’t feel emotionally ready.

Sounds like you jumped the gun into Open Marriage, didn't prepare enough ahead of time, and found initial agreements have some weak spots.

Why do you feel he betrayed you? Did you betray you?

Who is responsible for your emotional readiness?

What were your expectations of Open Marriage going in? That it would be perfect right out of the gate? Or there would be a learning time to fine tune agreements?

After a 24 hour period of me rethinking my life, I settled into acceptance and decided to make the best of the situation by befriending M.

Why are you "settling into acceptance?"

Again I ask you... do you really want to be doing Open Marriage or not?

Is this a case of "newbies with a bungled start" or a case of "I don't even want to be here doing this but am doing it anyway?"

She hasn’t come out as bi to me though, and I’m getting the vibe that she’s just not into me (despite expressing interest in being friends).

I should mention that I’m bi-curious, and probably only because my husband kept bringing up the idea during sex. That being said, I’ll try pretty much anything so I’m open to the idea. But as things stand currently, it looks like that’s not going to happen.

Just because a person is bi, doesn't mean they will automatically be up for sharing sex with all and sundry.

You are bi-curious not of your own desires but probably because you husband keeps bringing it up? Just because he's got fantasies about threesomes, it doesn't mean you are obliged to play them out. You know that, right?

I am concerned from how you write that you kinda go along with whatever husband says/wants.

What do YOU actually want in your life? Your marriage? You poly dating? It's ok to be different in your approach than you spouse. You are different people. You don't also have to just jump right in. You can take some time. But before all that, make sure you are doing Open Marriage because you really want to be doing it.

Galagirl
 
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kdt26417

Official Greeter
Greetings Sagetree,
Welcome to our forum. Please feel free to lurk, browse, etc.

You said, "I like the idea of finding my own special friend (male or female), but the idea of how to go about this is overwhelming enough to quit before I start." You might find OKCupid helpful in this regard, also I can post a list of links for finding your own special friend ... let me know if you'd be interested in such a list. It sounds like A is into M already, sooner than you would be able to adjust to it. You might want to tell A that he is moving too fast for you. Heck it may even be too fast for M, she does not seem to be into you for a threesome.

I hope the various members here can help you.
Sincerely,
Kevin T., "official greeter" :)

Notes:

There's a *lot* of good info in Golden Nuggets. Have a look!

Please read through the guidelines if you haven't already.

Note: You needn't read every reply to your posts, especially if someone posts in a disagreeable way. Given the size and scope of the site it's hard not to run into the occasional disagreeable person. Please contact the mods if you do (or if you see any spam), and you can block the person if you want.

If you have any questions about the board itself, please private-message a mod and they'll do their best to help.

Welcome aboard!
 

Sagetree

New member
I hope it helped to get this all off your chest. Don't allow yourself to be pressured into a threesome just because your husband, A, has that fantasy.

You mention that his gf, M, doesn't seem to be attracted to you. You don't say if you're attracted to her. You might be interested in sex or a relationship with another woman, but people aren't interchangeable. There needs to be definite chemistry and hopefully, a real rapport as well, for it to be polyamory, and not just fucking around.

Take you time getting used to A having sex or more with M. That's a big enough hurdle. There is no need to rush into dating yourself. I hear that you were a virgin when you met or married A. Maybe you're fine with one person (monoamorous) to be with. Maybe eventually you'll want to juggle more than one relationship.

Try reading the book Opening Up, to learn about all the pitfalls and speedbumps in a new poly relationship. Of course, feel free to read everyone's experiences around this board as well.
Thank you for responding.

Honestly, I think that if he hadn’t introduced the concept I’d be happily monogamous for the rest of my life. But, I also think some of that is social conditioning that I’ve accepted, rather than chosen for my own.

I don’t think I want to be in a serious relationship with anyone else, but this week I have figured out that I would like to have more sexual experiences (whether or not my husband is present). And I think I’m jealous that he figured out and has gotten what he wants, before I did. And I hate being left out of things, so I’m a bit sad that I’m not invited.

I’ve started reading Opening Up at the recommendation of my therapist. Lovely to know it comes recommended by more people!
 

Sagetree

New member
I'm sorry you struggle. I hope getting things off your chest helped some.

I had some questions.



Is that you joyfully consenting to practicing and Open Marriage? Do you want to be here like this? Or was this more saying whatever to shut him up because you were tired and being worn down or railroaded into it?



So this is the agreement?
  • Open Marriage where both can pursue other interests.
  • Consider how choices affect the other one.
  • Let the other one know when a potential is looking to go lover before it happens.



As written, he broke agreement then. He didn't tell you before hand and didn't tell you before sharing sex with you that he had another encounter. (consider how his choices affect you.)

As written, the agreements may also not be realistic or taking your own sex hygiene into account. It also places responsibility for your well being on him rather than in YOUR hands.

Long term, fluid bonded couples can get lax about sex hygiene. Because it's just them in the circle. Well, things have changed, it is NOT just you two in the circle any more, and neither of you remembered to make space for that.

A better way to frame that agreement might be "Before we share sex, we tell if there's been new encounters since the last time we were together."

Then he is responsible for TELLING. As well as you being responsible for ASKING. And vice versa. Then you can both make informed decisions about whether or not you want to share sex right now and what sort of protection to use. Better 2 people looking out for that than zero.



Sounds like you jumped the gun into Open Marriage, didn't prepare enough ahead of time, and found initial agreements have some weak spots.

Why do you feel he betrayed you? Did you betray you?

Who is responsible for your emotional readiness?

What were your expectations of Open Marriage going in? That it would be perfect right out of the gate? Or there would be a learning time to fine tune agreements?



Why are you "settling into acceptance?"

Again I ask you... do you really want to be doing Open Marriage or not?

Is this a case of "newbies with a bungled start" or a case of "I don't even want to be here doing this but am doing it anyway?"



Just because a person is bi, doesn't mean they will automatically be up for sharing sex with all and sundry.

You are bi-curious not of your own desires but probably because you husband keeps bringing it up? Just because he's got fantasies about threesomes, it doesn't mean you are obliged to play them out. You know that, right?

I am concerned from how you write that you kinda go along with whatever husband says/wants.

What do YOU actually want in your life? Your marriage? You poly dating? It's ok to be different in your approach than you spouse. You are different people. You don't also have to just jump right in. You can take some time. But before all that, make sure you are doing Open Marriage because you really want to be doing it.

Galagirl
Thank you for responding.

When you lay it out like that, it does look like I’ve betrayed myself by not having firmer boundaries. I honestly didn’t know how I would feel (so didn’t really know where my boundaries lie), but his happiness is really important to me so I took a calculated risk in saying yes. We’ve actually been having more honest and clear discussions because of this situation, and better sex as well.

To be clear, we did discuss hygiene, it was one of the conditions, and it was honored.

Some of these concepts have never been something I thought I needed to consider, and I don’t make hasty decisions. I haven’t figured out the answers yet, hence thinking “out loud” here.

You’ve given me some good things to ponder. I’ll report back when I have some answers.
 

Sagetree

New member
Greetings Sagetree,
Welcome to our forum. Please feel free to lurk, browse, etc.

You said, "I like the idea of finding my own special friend (male or female), but the idea of how to go about this is overwhelming enough to quit before I start." You might find OKCupid helpful in this regard, also I can post a list of links for finding your own special friend ... let me know if you'd be interested in such a list. It sounds like A is into M already, sooner than you would be able to adjust to it. You might want to tell A that he is moving too fast for you. Heck it may even be too fast for M, she does not seem to be into you for a threesome.

I hope the various members here can help you.
Sincerely,
Kevin T., "official greeter" :)

Notes:

There's a *lot* of good info in Golden Nuggets. Have a look!

Please read through the guidelines if you haven't already.

Note: You needn't read every reply to your posts, especially if someone posts in a disagreeable way. Given the size and scope of the site it's hard not to run into the occasional disagreeable person. Please contact the mods if you do (or if you see any spam), and you can block the person if you want.

If you have any questions about the board itself, please private-message a mod and they'll do their best to help.

Welcome aboard!
Thank you for responding.

I would be curious to see such a list, although I don’t anticipate using it right away.
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Hi Sagetree,
Here's the list:
"As for where to meet poly people, if by some chance you are interested in anything alternative like Renaissance fairs, goth culture, sci-fi conventions, indie music, bdsm, or any small fringe group, you will be more likely to meet people who have at least heard of poly and are accepting of it."
-- SpaceHippieGeek, Polyamorous Percolations

Even if it's not an "alternative" type group, if there's a club or something in your area that does something you're interested in, you can always join that group and it just gives you a way to get out there and meet people. If you meet someone on a platonic level and get to talking about poly, then they can decide how they feel about it without any "pressure to agree." Then if they do decide poly doesn't bother them too much, and some kind of romantic connection subsequently develops, you'll already have "had the poly conversation" with them.

Hopefully that gives you some ideas.
Sincerely,
Kevin T.
 

Tophatcat

New member
It sounds like you and your husband needs to both be involved in creating boundaries and rules for the relationships. When you are new it might help to read what other people do and see what you all think would work for you. And remember those rules aren't set in stone. You may find some that work and others that don't. Just don't be afraid to set boundaries and enforce them
 

3908

Member
greetings!

you say " It initially made me feel hurt and like I wasn’t good enough (mostly because of my fundamental Christian background), but I’ve gradually gotten over that"

how did you work thru this? my marriage is a "Christian" marriage, my wife at times has said she was hurt by my bringing up an interest in poly.
she struggles with various feelings like that.

I told her my interest in poly is "extra" not that she's not good enough, she is. she's amazing woman on multiple levels. she thinks my being poly will lead to me leaving her...i would never leave her.

I haven't pushed anything poly on over a month, just trying to have casual conversations. i hear things from her like poly is wrong because its not what god wants, god only wants monogamy, I'm against God.....yada yada yada.

I'm interested in any thoughts you have from your "Christian" perspective.

thank you
 

Magdlyn

Well-known member
greetings!

you say " It initially made me feel hurt and like I wasn’t good enough (mostly because of my fundamental Christian background), but I’ve gradually gotten over that"

how did you work thru this? my marriage is a "Christian" marriage, my wife at times has said she was hurt by my bringing up an interest in poly.
she struggles with various feelings like that.

I told her my interest in poly is "extra" not that she's not good enough, she is. she's amazing woman on multiple levels. she thinks my being poly will lead to me leaving her...i would never leave her.

I haven't pushed anything poly on over a month, just trying to have casual conversations. i hear things from her like poly is wrong because its not what god wants, god only wants monogamy, I'm against God.....yada yada yada.

I'm interested in any thoughts you have from your "Christian" perspective.

thank you
You weren't addressing me. But it's pretty common knowledge that if a person is stuck in a particular religious belief, there is no talking them out of it. Faith in things unseen is basically irrational. So, rational arguments won't work. Her faith is her rock. She needs it to live. If you no longer believe in this, you and she have irreconcilable differences, or so it seems to me.
 
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